Origins / Movement
For those unfamiliar, Nikko Lafre, AKA Augustus Nicolas Sargbeh, AKA Big Nik, is a 19-year-old emcee from Minnesota who divides his time between his native Minneapolis, Miami, Houston and L.A., having recently relocated there. MPLS is his movement.
Lafre comes from a large family of Liberian and Haitian immigrants, and his uncle Geechi is particular a source of inspiration. He attended school throughout the DMV area, eventually graduating from James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was initially pursuing a football career before several injuries diverted him to music, and like Wale and Logic before him, lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland for a time.
On Geechi: "Geechi is his street name. I can't really throw out his real name like that, but if you personally know me or grew up with me, then you know him," he says. "He's a young uncle, though - about six years older than me. We grew up in the same household, so he was never really seen as my uncle. That's my older brother. He came to the states from Liberia and got into some things that I can really only speak on strongly in records ... He got deported about a year ago for constant offenses including attempted murder, drug distribution and bad behavior in prison. He used to rap and loved storytelling, so I decided to adopt his lane and tell his story on a few songs on this project, but his story isn't the only one I'm telling."
On Football: "I was in love with football and was extremely good at it and looked at early," he says. "I was looking to go D1 with ease, but a few injuries later I decided I'd rather use my talent for music in life instead of messing up my body for a game - so I quit."
On His MPLS Movement: "MPLS is everything. It's the abbreviation for my city, "Minneapolis," but it doubles as the name for the collective my brothers and I rep, which some may have previously known as FTF (Feed The Fam). Shout-out to Drew Love - another MPLS member that's about to do some great things."
Expect to learn a lot more about Nikko from his new project MPLS: West End Stories, which is set to drop this Sunday. He considers it a formal introduction to "The Real Nikko Lafre," as he puts it. We're definitely looking forward to it.