Meet Young Nudy: 21 Savage's Cousin Takes Us On Devilish Ride Through "Nudy Land"
“Chucky remind me of me,” says Young Nudy of the iconic killer doll from the Child’s Play movies. “When he on his shit, he on his shit. And everything funny. He devilish as hell.”
A Nudy-fied version of Chucky adorns the covers of the Slime Ball mixtapes that kicked off the Zone 6 upstart’s career. The artwork of Nudy's new tape shows Chucky lurking behind him as the messy-haired pair guards the entrance of a desolate old theme park. The only light comes from the marquee, which reads “Nudy Land” -- the smoky world of thrills and chills with which he enchants his listeners.
“I used to be a lover boy, that hoe brought me to a savage,” goes the opening line of “No Clue,” one of Nudy’s biggest hits to date, which features an added verse from Lil Yachty on Nudy Land, appearing as the final track. “You try to play sweet then they sweep you off your feet,” he raps with a giddy rasp on “Sweep,” the intro on last summer's Slime Ball. Nudy’s improvisational lyrics display both his youthful charm as well as his penchant for sinister behavior. Getting the Good Guy doll and Chucky all at once is what makes him sound so enticing.
Nudy has become a top ATL prospect after just a couple of years in the game. In fact, he claims he wasn’t fully invested in a rap career until last December, while recording Slime Ball 2. Of course, a major facilitator of Nudy’s ascent was his cousin, 21 Savage, who, at this point, is a veritable rap star. In late 2015 -- when he was still on the rise -- 21 gave Nudy a verse on the rusty gang-banging anthem “Air It Out.” The track became a hit for 21 and was an exciting window into the part of Zone 6 that raised both him and his cousin.
Hailing from the Paradise East Apartments, after which he named his PDE crew and record label, Nudy’s stomping grounds are home to “just a whole buncha bullshit" -- meaning reckless teenage gangsters kicking down doors and looking for everyday scores that usually necessitate violent activity. Nudy won’t detail his criminal history, though he named the Nudy Land opener after a man who has put him behind bars on multiple occasions.
On “Judge Scott Convicted,” Nudy coolly justifies the behavior that made him a foe of Judge Scott’s, rapping, “Mama didn’t have a job, we wasn’t stable, n*gga / Had to go and get the gun so we were able, n*gga.” The dim, creepy beat is prefaced by the Jamie Foxx quote -- “Yo Pierre, you wanna come out here?” -- that has jump-started some of the year’s biggest tracks, most notably Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia.”
As with 21, Nudy wouldn’t be where he is without Pi’erre Bourne, one of 2017’s hottest producers. But Bourne didn’t have a name when they first crossed paths. “Me and Pi’erre started from the jump,” says Nudy. “He ain’t have shit goin’ on, I ain’t have shit goin’ on.” Bourne went on to produce the majority of both Slime Ball tapes -- earning him the attention of other rappers in the process -- and he’s behind nine of the 13 joints on Nudy Land.
There’s no precise vision of Nudy Land without Bourne, who Nudy says gives him “life beats," or “beats that give you life and energy.” Nudy needs that ghoulish, cinematic sound for his imagination to come alive in his raps and for him to bring his world to his fans in a way that’s both scary and irresistible. “I’m havin’ fun in my world, but my world is dangerous,” says the “Big Bad Slime.” He’s now ready to open the gates to Nudy Land. Wanna play?
HNHH: You just dropped the biggest project of your career with Nudy Land. How are you feeling right about now?
Young Nudy: I’m feeling good. I just feel like, shit, I need these folks to hear me a little bit more, you feel me? When I did Slime Ball 1, that was just to give myself like a little baby boy. I did Slime Ball 2 just to let motherfuckers know really who I’m is. And Nudy Land was just some shit to make motherfuckers take me serious. But it’s still my type of shit, you feel me?
What's the reception been like with the fans and people back home?
Man, they love that shit. 'Specially folks from my neighborhood, they love that shit. They happy for me. I mean, you know, like some motherfuckers just wanna take a picture, but it be on some shit, like “I’m proud of you” type shit. Everybody in the neighborhood, they happy for that shit. That makes me feel good. That I made somebody feel good, gotdamn.
When did you officially decide to go all-in on your rap career?
Like take it all the way serious? I can’t really say when I took it all the way serious, but when I did that “Air It Out” shit with Savage, gotdamn, it was just like, “I can do some shit.” Savage really got me on that rap shit. Shout-out to cuz, you feel me.
I used to always rap, though. But I just wouldn’t understand that shit. I’m just more into the streets, and I ain’t never had the belief in that shit. Other folks had the belief in that shit, and look where it is now. And I really got fully blown -- like, “Fuck everything, I’m just finna rap” -- around December. Like I’m finna do this shit, and it gon' pay off. That’s when I did the Slime Ball 2 shit.
Were you inspired by seeing what 21 was doing and all of his success?
Oh yeah, cuz did his motherfuckin' thing. Shorty came a long way. I sat back and watched shorty' ass grow, foreal.
The area I’m from, where I be at, the Paradise East Apartments -- sheeeit, ain’t nothin' but a whole buncha gang shit goin on 'round that motherfucker. Just a whole buncha bullshit. I ain’t gon’ say too much, you feel me. N*ggas just be on the real bullshit.
And before you were doing music...
--On the bullshit!
I wanna talk about the Chucky doll, who's been on the cover of your last three tapes now. When did that become part of the Young Nudy brand?
Shit, gotdamn with Slime Ball 1. It was just somethin’ cool just to put with that shit. At first I ain’t wanna do it, 'cause I was sittin' here thinkin', if I do the Chucky doll shit, motherfuckers gonna be thinkin', “Oh, he tryna be like Savage 'cause Savage got the Jason shit," you feel me? But it got to the point, like, “Well I don’t even give a fuck.” I like Chucky. Chucky remind me of me. When he on his shit, he on his shit. And everything funny. He devilish as hell [laughs]. Chucky remind me of the old me, when I was prolly 'bout like 18. Those were my Chucky days, foreal.
Did you watch a lot of horror movies growing up?
Hell naw! Tell you the truth, when I was a little bitty kid, I used to be scared of that shit. I used to be scared of Chucky, gotdamn Jason, all that shit. If I watched that shit, I’d fuck around and have to go in there and sleep with my mama. When I was like 5, 6, hell naw! I’m havin’ dreams about running from these n*ggas and shit. But once I started getting a little older, I used to be like that shit fake as hell, man. But the one person I could never shake -- like I used to always have dreams about -- was Michael Myers. Man, I don’t fuck with homie. Homie wasn’t bullshitting. I used to always look at it like, this could be a real person right here, like that n*gga foreal, foreal. I ain’t wanna have no dreams about that n*gga chasin' me. I might not wake up. I might have a heart attack in my sleep [laughs].
With 21, it seemed like he had big-time producers supporting him right off the bat, and I kind of see that with you as well.
I ain’t have no big names fuckin’ with me but gotdamn Metro! Metro is a n*gga that my folks from the hood, they been knowin'. They been knowin' Metro like way, way before shorty where he at now. Shorty like family.
Well, yeah, I guess it is different 'cause you and Pi'erre both started out together.
Me and Pi’erre started from the jump! He ain’t have shit goin’ on, I ain’t have shit goin’ on. He was in that motherfucker gotdamn engineering and shit, my boy used to hate that shit [laughs]. He was in there engineering, and I was somewhere ‘round the street doin' what I was doin', you feel me. We ain’t have shit goin' on at the time, but when we bumped with each other, it [was] just like, “Boom!” It was just like, damn, shorty had fye! So we just been rockin', you feel me. Motherfuckers tryna say, "Oh, they the new Gucci and Zay" -- naw, we ain’t the Gucci and Zay, we the Nudy and P!
He did like 9 or 10 of the beats on Nudy Land, yeah?
We did some of those motherfuckers at the last minute. I did damn near half of them songs like three days before the tape dropped. Foreal. I swear, like, “Oh shit, the tape’s gon’ drop. It’s crunch time.” It’s a whole ‘nother level when I’m on crunch time. When I’m on crunch time, my brain be on some mo’ shit. I be on some shit like, “Play this type of beat, I’m finna do this type of sound.” And I had to come a little different with the Nudy Land shit, you feel me? It’s still on my type of shit, but it don’t sound like the Slime Ball's. It sound like you in "Nudy Land," foreal, foreal.
It sounds like you and Pi'erre are really on the same page with the spooky sound you guys cook up together.
I ain’t be peepin' that shit, though. Everybody be sayin', "Why your beats be sounding so evil?" And I be like, "My beats don’t be sounding evil."
Well not just evil. I mean, they sound fun as hell, too.
That’s what I be thinkin' they sound like. I call 'em “life beats.” Energy beats. Beats that give you life and energy. Cut that motherfucker on and they can feel me.
It's like you're bringing those worlds together, the fun with the wickedness.
That’s what it is. Like it’s fun, but you in my world, though. My world. I’m havin’ fun in my world, but my world is dangerous, you see what I’m sayin'?
What are your favorite tracks on the project?
Matter fact I really got four that I really just like: "Barbecue," "Loaded Baked Potato," "Hell Shell," and "Fatsane."
So after Nudy Land, what's next for Young Nudy?
I don’t know. I can’t tell you, I have to kill you [laughs]. Me and Pi’erre finna put some shit together, though. We don’t stop. Just 'cause shit don’t drop, don’t mean this shit stop. Boy we are workaholics, believe it.