PREMIERE: Nephew Texas Boy Gets “Doggish” with Waka Flocka and Stalley
Imagine that your first beat came straight from Zaytoven
There’s a famous quotation—which has been attributed variously to Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Niccolò Machiavelli, and the German philosopher Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin—asserting that “history is written by the victors.” Whoever actually said it, that statement is true AF.
When the history of Atlanta rap gets written, names like OutKast, Organized Noise, Future and Gucci Mane will loom large—and rightly so. All of the above put in much work and they emerged victorious in the music game. But what about folks like Nephew Texas Boy? You might not know his name yet, but if there is any justice Nephy 3X should not be omitted from the history of hip-hop in the ATL.
A triple OG hailing from Houston’s infamous Trinity Gardens neighborhood, Nephew came to Atlanta back in 2004, fresh out of prison, and got down with SYS (Sign Ya Self) Records back when the fledgling label was just getting off the ground. Around that time in-house producer Zaytoven was working with a young rapper known as Gucci Mane. Together they recorded a song called “Icy,” or, depending on who you ask, “So Icey.” The track featured another up-and-comer named Young Jeezy. You might have heard about it. “Icy” made a lot of noise in more ways than one.
All the time this was going on, Nephy was playing his position behind the scenes, nurturing dreams of turning his life around and making it big as a rapper. Not only did he have bars, and real-life experiences to back up his raps, but he also had a genuine gift for melody. Nephy created his own sound, which he called “Texlanta”—a unique blend of the cities and influences that made him the man he is.
Those rap dreams may have been deferred for a while, but they never died. He had the money, the power and the respect but still something was missing. The IG bio of the C.E.O. of PlugLife LLC reveals what may be the secret of his success: “Only way to win is invest in yourself.” Somewhere around 2015 Nephy’s hard work and determination began paying off. He dropped a pair of mixtapes that year: Ran Off (hosted by Waka Flocka Flame) and then Texlanta (in collaboration with Houston/ATL rapper BeatKing).
Tomorrow evening NTB will release the strongest project of his career thus far, The Pack Landed at 8:08. It’s worth noting that the tape was executive produced by Southside and TM88, two of Atlanta’s most important producers at the moment. Nephew’s name may not be widely known right now, but his respect runs deep in the streets. And TPLA808 is chock-full of the kind of music that just might put his name on the radar of astute rap lovers everywhere. The artist’s melodic talents shine on the title track and on the reggae-trap hybrid “Shawdy Don’t Worry.” On a song called “Brazy Brazy” Nephy simply raps his ass off:
“Mamas, aunties, and nieces
I’m like telekinesis
Bitch I’m controllin’ your mind
All this fish scale in my kitchen
Bitch you’ll probably go blind
Most of these rappers be lyin’
That’s why they don’t fuck with Nephy
They congregate within thyself
Schemin’ plottin’ the death of me”
Some time soon after the new tape drops, Nephew will turn himself in for a probation violation and do another bid behind bars. But Nephy 3X has a vision that’s way bigger than a prison cell.
Today Mass Appeal premieres “Doggish,” a track from the aforementioned project that features Nephy’s good friend Waka Flocka and Stalley. The Ohio-born MMG affiliate recalls the making of the tune like this: “I met Nephew though my partner K-So who works with him and Waka. He took me over to Mojo studio in ATL. Nephew was going through records for his tape and Waka did his verse first on the record, and then I jumped on it after him.”
Over a woozy beat produced by Fuse and TM88, Nephew opens things up by stating “Fuck a lotta hoes so a young n*gga doggish.” Next Waka jumps on with a laid-back flow, calmly stating “If you shootin’ pencils for me then you know that I’ma feed you.” Then Stalley hops on a track unlike anything he’s ever rapped over and delivers one of the hardest verses of his career. Just another case of realness inspiring greatness. By that measure Nephy 3X is already a victor.
Listen to “Doggish” right now and make sure to cop the full pack when it lands tomorrow at 8:08 p.m. While you wait, check out our exclusive interview with Nephy.
Mass Appeal: What part of Texas are you from?
Nephew Texas Boy: I was born in Houston Texas, 5th Ward area, Trinity Garden. Grew up in Beaumont also, which is like about 80 miles outside the city. So I was back and forth—and I been back and forth to Atlanta since I was 9 years old also. So it’s just a sound I came up with called the “Texlanta” sound.
I notice a lot of melody in your flow. Is that what makes your sound unique?
Yep, you caught it. I really bounce offa melody brother. Real hard. That’s what I love. I love melody. Any producers that I sit down with, I’ma always either pick melodic tracks or try to send em in that direction. That’s what I love to build all my hooks off of.
Where did you start making music?
My entire music career came from Atlanta, Georgia.
When and how did you get into the ATL music scene?
Actually we started in 2004 with a label called Sign Ya Self Records [SYS], and I still claim that today. Which is the same company where you got a rapper named Gucci Mane, and there was a producer there named Zaytoven. And so I been rocking with Zaytoven for inchin’ up on 15 years. I went from a whole different lifestyle to that. I came in, and he made the first beat I ever rapped over in my life. I crashed into the music game with that type of production. So I don’t even really know how to go with no-name producers and try to create… I wouldn’t even know how to do it. I ain’t gonna lie to you.
It’s not bad to start at the top. Not bad at all.
[Laughs] I ain’t gonna say it’s the top, but it ain’t the bottom. I’ll say that.
The new tape is called The Pack Landed at 8:08. Can you break down that title?
Basically it’s like this: I was sitting with myself one day and I was rolling me a blunt and I realized I’d ran out of weed. So I called the weed man. And the weed man pulled up at 8:08. Coincidentally I’m an 808 Mafia member. So I said “You know what? The pack landed at 8:08.” That’s how we gon’ hit it. The package is gonna deliver at everybody front door.
When will you be releasing it?
The release will be Sunday. I wanted to put it on the 8th day of the month at 8:08 p.m.
Tell me about this track with you and Waka and Stalley, “Doggish.”
Waka called me one day and asked what I was doing. I told him I was in the studio. And actually Stalley from Maybach was here earlier, and we just was hangin’ around. And Waka is one of my long-time friends, over 10 years. He just called me, just playin’ around like we always do, like, “Hey what’s up?” So he came and pulled up, went in the booth, and put the headphones on and that was that. And Stalley was in the room, and that’s not Stalley’s typical type of song. You know I’m sayin’? I was like, “Stalley you think you can fuck with this?” He was like “I don’t know… Man, shit! Fuck it. Let me try.” It was like Waka already ripped it, you gotta fuck with this. Let me get on. We put his ass in the booth. That shit came out hard as hell.
I think this track could open up a new lane for Stalley.
Yup. You hit that right on the head. He said that himself. He said “Maaaaan I never thought I could do this type of record.”
If Drake can get down in ATL, why not Stalley too?
Yeah, that’s a fact. Everybody want that flavor. It’s flavor down here.
Who else is featured on the tape?
Ahhh let’s see… I got Waka, I got Stalley, I have my brother Mojo. His big brother is how my whole music career really started, at Sign Ya Self Records. So Mojo’s on one record with me. Who else do I got? Oh, I got my boy Calico Jonez who’s down with Big Meech and them. What I really didn’t wanna do this tape, I really didn’t wanna go with all the features that I coulda put on it. I have other records that I could have put on there, like records with Young Dolph and Cool Amerika. But I didn’t want to do that this tape. I wanted to kinda let the production speak and kinda more let myself go round to my personal friends. What’s crazy is actually Tracy T supposed to be on there, OJ Juiceman is supposed to be on there. I got they verses, but I ain’t gon’ have em mixed in time.
So you’re just keepin’ it to the inner circle right now.
Yeah, just my personal friends I’m with every day. Like TM88, that’s my brother. Southside is my brother. Metro Boomin’s my real brother. Any producer that’s coming out of Atlanta, you wouldn’t even know that I had a connection with these people—before music. Music had nothing to do with it. And it’s crazy that everybody’s life is going kind of the same path. But different ways at the same time.
It sounds like it’s all coming together at the right time. When did you first meet up with TM88?
TM has been making beats for the last 15, 16 years. So I wasn’t around when he first started making beats. I was kinda around at a time in TM88’s life where he was trying to figure out exactly if he was gonna straddle that fence or was gonna go ahead and get the super-stardom. And I was one of those influential people in his life at the time that was like “You know what Bro, don’t pick this lifestyle right here. Because look at everybody’s that’s surrounding you at the time. All your best friends, they all gettin’ life in prison, 20 years, 30 years. You can see that ain’t the route for you.” I’ll get out here and get the money and sacrifice shit so you can be a well-known producer. And he stayed on his grind. TM sacrificed a lot. You know I’m sayin? We both did.
So how is everything else going in your life overall right now, apart from music?
Right now, to be honest with you—because I don’t lie to nobody, not even my mother—it’s like, I’m not the happiest camper right now. I got some adversity goin’ on in my life right now. And it’s costing me strength. But I’ma overcome that by trying to go ahead and put out this project right now. You know I’m saying? It’s like, I had cars stolen. Actually I was the victim of a robbery. Two dudes robbed me for my car. That was October the 20th. Thirty days after that I had a concert with Young Dro in Tennessee, somebody broke in my house.
Three weeks after that another bullshit situation came up. So you got all these negative situations comin’ up—all at the holiday time. They stole some of my kids’ Christmas presents and shit like that. So you know, I wasn’t in a good space and I’m just kinda mentally getting back. Even thought everything was replaced and stuff like that, as far as, I just went ahead and just replaced it financially. But hell yeah, naw, I ain’t been too happy lately. See I was like, let me go ahead and put this good music out here and see how that shit go. Chop the shit on up a little bit.
I understand that this is kinda like a last-second project before you have to go do some time.
I got a bid for a little probation violation. I gotta turn myself in. I kinda been buckin’ turning myself in. Shit… I shoulda turned myself in three weeks ago. But I was like, “Fuck that. I’ma put this project out.” I’ll take the consequences but at least my career will be intact.
I like the name Nephew Texas Boy. Who gave you that name?
You say you like it? That’s crazy, cause that name was given to me in prison back in 2003 right before I was about to meet Zaytoven. I used to always be rappin’ in jail, and I was like when I get outta jail I wanna try to rap. You know I’m saying? And I didn’t know I was gon’ get out and meet Zaytoven at the time “So Icy” was gonna be made and stuff like that. It’s been legendary. I been here the whole ride. It ain’t like I just came from nowhere. Everybody knows.
Were you in Texas at the time?
I was originally incarcerated in Texas, and I ended up having to go prison. So I had to go to prison in Lexington, Kentucky. And it’s funny cause they never had superstars come from out Kentucky and shit. But this was at the time when they had a group called Nappy Roots or whatever. And while I was in Kentucky doing my time and stuff like that, I was like you know what I’m gonna get out and go to Atlanta where my mother is. I’ve been there ever since trying to hit that next level.