Natural
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Natural

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Hip Hop

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Natural
Boston rapper Natural is a spitter that took things to a totally different level in 2013. He put out a cohesive project that took on the topic of the Boston bombings in a very endearing way. But don’t get us wrong…he rapped about light hearted topics too and entertained listeners all the while. We’re glad that we stumbled upon this artist over the course of the year as there was clearly a whole lot worth finding out about. Our eyes will stay open for his movements in 2014. - AllHipHop.com


Natural
Boston rapper Natural is a spitter that took things to a totally different level in 2013. He put out a cohesive project that took on the topic of the Boston bombings in a very endearing way. But don’t get us wrong…he rapped about light hearted topics too and entertained listeners all the while. We’re glad that we stumbled upon this artist over the course of the year as there was clearly a whole lot worth finding out about. Our eyes will stay open for his movements in 2014. - AllHipHop.com


GENRE | JUST A CITY KID
VERDICT | TRYING TO RUN THE CITY, KID

Regionalism in rap is fading. In its place, jet-setting has assumed precedence. Booty-clapping in Atlanta? Lean-sipping in Houston? Jimmy Iovine meeting in Los Angeles? Fair game. But god forbid somebody dares to mention the street they drove up and down on their way to a day job for half-a-decade.

Mercifully, Natural manages to circumnavigate this pratfall on Ways To Go, his recent mixtape that exudes Boston in every breath. For a surface-level glimpse of just how entrenched the effort is, the second track opens with a Ben Affleck snippet ripped from Good Will Hunting. The title track continues in the same vein with an intro cut from Guru’s hook on “Robbin Hood Theory.”



The Milton-bred spitter digs deep. As such, his perceptions are too multifaceted for this effort to be labeled a straight-up tribute to the city. “Big fish small pond / When there’s ripples, everyone is affected / It’s never that simple,” he decries on the opener, “Dark Clouds,” setting the table for forthcoming commentary on the Hub’s jaded history with race relations and his own position as a 28-year-old white rapper. From there, “Michael’s Getaway” details a case we see all too often around these parts, where a life of crime begets only more criminal activity and rarely a happy ending.

It isn’t all doom and gloom though. Natural owns an offhand flow, stylistically reminiscent of Jadakiss, where punchlines saddle seamlessly alongside weightier subject matter. Some require several listens to grasp, but when they hit, it’s riotous (most notably, “Heard the track, thought I was black, like UB40?). And when paired with contemporaries like Dutch Rebelle and J The S, Natural is at his most braggadocios, forever reminding us to focus on our money.

Above all else, it’s about Boston. Recorded in the wake of April’s Boston Marathon bombing, “State of Grace” is as fitting a tribute we’ve seen to the victims, in any medium. “Home, where currency is loyalty,” his closing rap proclaims. This Saturday, at Who’s on First?, he’s hosting an album release that doubles as a benefit in which the proceeds will go to the family of Martin Richard. - Dig Boston Magazine


Natural was interviewed on Shade 45 ShowOff Radio on Thursday November 7th 2013. On air Natural discussed his single 'State Of Grace' which is dedicated to Martin Richards who was the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing as well as his latest project 'Ways To Go' which was released on Tuesdays November 5th 2013 exclusively through DJBooth.net. With a mere 3 million listeners tuned in, Natural received some very positive feedback about his music. - SiriusXM


Nat Anglin, a 28-year-old rapper who performs as “Natural,” long ago made the streets of Boston his musical muse. His songs and videos are liberally laced with B-caps and big-ups to Big Papi. Natural belongs to a school of homegrown MCs who rep Boston with conscious abandon – knowing full well that such boosterism could stymie some national break-out moment.

It’s never fazed Anglin, a Milton-reared baseball player and fan with deep Dorchester roots who works part-time as a bartender and teacher. When bombs blew apart lives and limbs on Boylston Street last April, Anglin didn’t have to conjure up some abstract artistic connection to the carnage.

Like many of us, he knew some of the victims personally, including members of the Richard family, whose eight-year-old son Martin was one of three killed in the blasts. Nat was one of scores of locals who attended the memorial service at Holy Cross Cathedral where President Obama sought to console the city with words of resolve and compassion.

It was only, well, natural, that Anglin, a gifted lyricist in his own right, would someday soon seek to tackle the tough subject matter in his chosen medium. The result is “State of Grace”, a song he has dedicated specifically to Martin Richard. Its title is a nod to the president’s speech in which he quoted from E.B. White’s ode to the city, written back in 1949.

“I don’t know much but/ I know I love this place. This ain’t my home/It’s a state of grace,” raps Anglin.

On Monday, Natural released the music video for State of Grace – filmed mainly in Savin Hill, Ashmont, Adams Corner, and Neponset. The video features cameos from Dorchester neighbors, many of them holding signs inspired by the iconic photo of young Martin holding a sign he made in school that read, “No more hurting people. Peace.”

Anglin explained: “The point of the song is to look for the positives in the midst of the worst. I feel Martin left us with the most simple of messages, and yet, the most poignant.”

The song is also a critique of how a global event like the Marathon terror attack gets processed at the street level where its actual impacts are most immediate and indelible. It’s leavened with the raw emotions that roiled the city and its neighborhoods in the days after the attack. But it benefits from the passage of weeks, then months – and the introspection of the writer. It’s a different song, a different video than what might have been produced in April or May.

“Although this directly impacted the city in which we call home, the lessons learned during and after can be applied to many places around this world,” Anglin wrote on his Facebook page this week. “No barriers. No racial differences, no monetary differences, no neighborhood differences, and no political differences will separate the equality we SHOULD share. A fundamental human right. An important community duty. Peace. Safety. For you. Your family. Your friends. Look out for those around you and help who you can. There is so much left to work on ... I just hope my song can help spread the good message.”

The song “State of Grace” is available now on iTunes and other music sites. All proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the Richard Family Fund, as will tickets to the Nov. 16 release party for his latest record, “Ways to Go”— which will be held at “Who’s on First” on Yawkey Way. – Bill Forry - Dorchester Reporter


CAMBRIDGE — “Conscious” is probably one of the worst words to ever be applied to hip-hop. Other genres also encompass the full range of human emotion — from politically charged fury to hedonistic euphoria to sadness and everything in between — yet rap is seemingly the only one the attempts to superficially categorize artists by a tying them to a single one: There’s the hardcore “gangsta” rapper, the party chasing “frat” rapper, the smoked-out “weed” rapper, and yes, the oft-maligned “conscious” rapper, a curious euphemism often incorrectly applied to someone making music touching on topics outside themselves.

Nathaniel “Natural” Anglin, who performs at Who’s on First on Nov. 16, just over a week after the release of his new album, “Ways to Go,” could fit into several such categories or, just as easily, into none. His music reflects his perspective on a broad spectrum of topics, from local politics to relationships to how good a rapper he is. In other words, he doesn’t fit any single myopic label, and that’s just how he likes it.

“People always ask who I sound like and where I fit,” Anglin, 28, says over a beer at a Central Square bar. “What I say is that I definitely try to not shy away from anything or coming up with certain records. I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of experiences, to have spent time with a diverse group of people and navigated through different social circles. Where I fit in right now is probably more just somewhere in the niche of just being as realistic as possible.”

That broad perspective came from an early age; while his family was based in Milton, Anglin spent much of his time with relatives in Dorchester and other neighborhoods in Boston. His horizons broadened when his talent as a pitcher earned him a place on Ireland’s national baseball team (he holds dual citizenship though his grandparents) and subsequently the chance to travel through Europe for tournament play. Add his eight years of experiences working at a charter school in the city and you get the idea that Anglin probably has a lot to say about a lot of things.

Natural
Who’s on First, 19 Yawkey Way, 617-247-3353. http://www.whosonfirstatfenway.com
Date of concert:
Nov. 16
Ticket price:
$20

But his rap career didn’t necessarily start that way. Anglin admits that his debut 2010 release, “The Bartender,” a series of braggadocio, party-oriented cuts that played off his side gig behind the bar at Beacon Hill Pub, was aimed at showing people that he had the rap skills to hold his own. By the time he began recording his next album, “20 Something,” he felt comfortable enough to tap into those aforementioned experiences.

‘I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of experiences, to have spent time with a diverse group of people and navigated through different social circles. ’

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“By the time I put ‘20 Something’ together, I had something different in mind,” he says. Without totally forgoing the flashy lyrical exercises (as in the single “Monsters”), he pushed further into more mature areas. “I wanted to make something that’s not just 12 songs of me rapping my ass off, but has different story lines and themes, things like relationships and just growing up to that phase in my life. That ended up being the stuff that people picked up on the most, which felt great as an artist.”

His new album, “Ways to Go,” which will be released as a free download on Nov. 5, continues tracking his evolution right from the opening bars of the first song “Dark Clouds”: He spits, “I’m still searching for who is me, I’m still skipping hate like classes, young truancy/ I’m hip-hop embodied, I spit fluently, still trying to make it through these moral ambiguities.”

Meanwhile, the title cut finds him reflecting on urban life in Boston, referencing racial tensions, drug abuse and crime with pointed details from his personal life.

The album’s centerpiece is the single “State of Grace,” a song written in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in April. Finding a middle ground between the horror and hope both witnessed on that day, Anglin explores the nuances in emotion that reveal more about the city’s, and particularly Dorchester’s, reaction to the tragedy than the phrase “Boston Strong” could ever encapsulate.

“Spending so much time in a tight-knit community like Dorchester, knowing a lot of people affected directly by [the attack] and seeing the acts of good will that came after helped inspire me to write the song,” he explained of the track, of which all proceeds from sales on iTunes go toward a fund set up for the family of Martin Richards, the 8-year-old killed in the bombings, whom Anglin knew personally. The Nov. 16 show is also a benefit for the family. “I think it’s an important thing to do. I’m not trying to be a role model, but I think it’s cool to find a way to give back in some way. It doesn’t matter how much it sells, it’s more the idea that hip-hop can be involved in the community, which is p - The Boston Glow


Each week, 889@Night will recognize local unsigned talent and promote their music on air as well as on our website. We highlight the talented few who stand out amongst a crowd. This week starting today, September 10th, 2012, we are highlighting local rapper Natural and playing his music at midnight every night this week.

After years of standing by as a spectator, a fan and avid lover of Hip-Hop, Natural, also known in many circles as “Nasty Nat”, felt it was no longer enough just to listen. A writer his entire life, Natural had produced various forms of storytelling through many different mediums. Nat always felt the need to share his personal experiences along with the people around him. It wasn’t until 2010 that he finally recognized hip-hop as his true calling.

Nat’s music invites listeners into his own world, one guided by family and the close bonds within his small circle. His words are marked with a realistic portrayal of himself and feed off of his surroundings in the small city of Boston — his story is just one of the many tales shared through his music.

Born in Boston, Natural split time between his household in Milton and his cousins residence in Dorchester. The oldest of five in a close knit Irish-American neighborhood, Natural was responsible for his siblings from a very young age. He credits the high level of responsibility his parents entrusted to him along with his entire family’s unwavering support in all avenues of artistic creativity as major reasons for his progression as an artist.

Despite his suburban background, Nat’s deep-routed connections with the inner city have allowed him lines of sight from both sides of the tracks. Employments and experience range from his current position at an inner city public school all the way to working with troubled youth groups over in Ireland. Nat has been bartending and bouncing in some of the roughest areas of the city while also holding down jobs in some of the trendiest spots downtown. Either way you spin it, Nat draws from a plethora of experiences and carries a unique ability to connect with many different demographics of people.

In 2011, Natural burst onto the scene with his debut release “The Bartender” which quickly solidified his status as an emcee to be reckoned with. Armed with a keen sense of self-awareness and an unapologetic flow, the 17-track mixtape highlighted Natural’s penchant for aggressive wordplay, sharp lyricism and a knack for memorable punchlines. His lead single “I Don’t Play” made a Top 5 showing in the National College Radio Hip Hop Charts while his street singles “Forcin’ It” and “Seeya Layta” quickly grew into local favorites.

Following the release of “The Bartender” Natural teamed up with two Boston MCs, Real P and Brook of The Famous Nobodies, to create a side group called “Bargang”. The trio released a street single entitled “Bump That” which quickly took on the local scene. The song was heard on every major radio station in Boston and quickly developed into a local classic.

Riding the buzz of “Bump That” and the critical reviews of “The Bartender”, Natural teamed up with Boston based “Rhoaming Music Group” to continue the trend of success. On September 11th, 2012 he will release his debut EP “20 Something”. The 11 track project combines Natural’s ferocious lyricial abilities with a concentrated collection of experiences. 20 Something is life told through 11 chronologically ordered tracks, and in typical Natural fashion, in an easily identifiable style that manages to reach various demographics of people. Natural wouldn’t have it any other way.

By Malcolm Gray - WERS.ORG


NATURAL

20 SOMETHING

I’m only about halfway through my 20s, but if someone were to describe this period of life as an exercise in balancing one’s expectations of an ideal life with a sense of reality, that would sound about right to me. Natural seems to agree: The rapper’s “20 Something” is an entertaining, engaging album that finds him burning with serious rap ambitions but still enjoying his youth while it lasts.


“Postcards” sets the tone early, as Nat shows that his perspective goes beyond Boston city limits: Over a chopped-up piano loop, he delivers a breezy travelogue from a European vacation that has flashes of his insightful wit (“Rooftop in Dublin view like ‘God damn’/?you can paint a portrait of an artist this young man,” he quips).

At his best, he lives up to his name; the punch line attack of “Monsters” recalls shades of Esoteric’s conversational flow where every word is clearly enunciated and impactful. Some concepts fall flat (the single “Go to Work” misses its mark) but he’ll have plenty of time to give us more songs that showcase his abilities as a sharp writer, as indicated on the bemused introspection of the title track. After all, he’s only 20-something.

ESSENTIAL “Postcards”

“20 Something” is available free at www.datpiff.com. Natural performs with Dutch ReBelle at Church on Oct. 17, www.churchofboston.com. - Boston Globe


Born and raised in a close-knit Irish/American community in Boston, ‘Natural’, (a.k.a ‘Nasty Nat’), amalgamated his love for both writing and hip-hop to find his true calling. After penning his first tracks in 2009, Nat hooked up with producer Pete ‘Needy’ to create ‘Stay Puft Productions’. From bar-tending to teaching in an inner city public school, Nat reflects upon his personal experiences with dry humour and easy-to-relate-to lyrics that certainly prove he is a natural on the mic.

His recently dropped mixtape ‘The Bartender’ has garnered positive attention across the Atlantic, with featured track ‘I Don’t Play’ securing a top 5 place on the U.S College Radio Hip-Hop Charts. The track was also featured on a Revolt Radio mixtape presented by DJ Booth.net and underground emcee Wordsmith. A dual citizen of both Ireland and America; Natural represents the Irish National Team in Baseball. Rap Ireland caught up with Nat to find out what is next in store for the Boston emcee.

Rap Ireland: A writer your whole life, you have produced several bodies of work including novels, screen-plays and poetry. How did that progress into writing hip-hop tracks?

Natural: Yeah I’ve always been a writer. It’s funny how many different mediums I went through before I finally landed in the right one with hip-hop. I think it’s more the storytelling piece I liked the best. I had always listened to hip-hop my whole life but it wasn’t until college where I found myself writing rhymes down on pieces of paper in a more structured format. I would take popular songs I thought were dope and I would get the instrumental and write rhymes down in the exact same flow as the artist (take for example Lloyd Banks on Victory) and just create my own rhymes. From there I got into alot of freestyling at college parties and what not and gained a minimal reputation as a decent freestyle/battle rapper. My close friends always pushed for me to get more into it through college as they thought my punchlines were on point. I think my writing in other areas and in different styles has absolutely helped my skills as a songwriter.

RI: Who is involved in Stay Puft productions?

Natural: Stay Puft Productions is myself, Juicebox and Pete “Needy” Needham. There are other people floating around all the time but us three are the primary members. Those two are the geniuses behind alot of my beats. If you peep my mixtape “The Bartender” they produce about 80% of the songs. They are into old school sampling but they also show great range with more modern sounding techno infused beats. In “Cold Eyes” they do a wonderful job of getting a great sample and creating a throwback almost Jay-z Blueprint 1 sound. I love it. Then they mess around and hit you with a bass thumping “There He Go” which adds a modern flair and ridiculous catch to it.

They started a couple years ago messing around with beats while Peter was in Audio Production School at Boston University. I remember hearing some of their stuff back when I was in college and thinking it was dope but absolutely didn’t have enough confidence in myself as an emcee to approach them just yet. It wasn’t until about two years ago when I contacted Peter, I had released a couple freestyles to critical acclaim and I figured I would have a go on some original beats. He was the first kid I thought of. He gave me a couple to rock with and some of those early ones even stuck around to end up on “The Bartender”. They have a great ear for music and love a wide range of material…listening sessions with them are always so much fun. They’ll sample anything. ANYTHING. Those dudes are chemists, man. They cook up some mean stuff.

R.I: Any interest from Record Labels?

Natural: I’ve been on the independent grind hard since the get go. I’ve gotten some interest for some of my tracks for use. I am in talks with a couple major film studios for using certain tracks in film and what not. There are a couple movies on sight around Boston that are backed by some big names and I’m hoping to move forward with those opportunities in an effort to get my music out there. There is a pretty big rapper from Boston called “Slaine” and he did that sort of route when he acted in films like “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town”. Some of his music was featured in both those films and he is really starting to blow up recently. Eventually I’d love some attention from labels and honestly I think its more than possible, but with hip-hop right now marketing is the way of the game. Getting yourself out there. I’ve made a pretty big splash on the Boston scene and I’m looking to expand onto other cities and states. Attention is one thing but there is no guarantee I’d sign either. If you make a big enough of a name for yourself you can do very well the independent route.

R.I: Do you have much following/support in your home-town of Boston?

Natural: It’s for sure growing. I’ve always been an avid fan of the music in general but especially people comin - RapIreland.com


While Natural doesn’t have a style that fits into a neat box or a scene—he’s not a frat-rapper and he’s not a socially conscious Macklemore-type—he does have songs that carefully mimic the kind of laid-back, comfort-food rap he grew up with. His recent 20 Something mixtape is a varied and eclectic collection of songs that displays an ear for soulful, melancholy beats and an eye for mundane, relatable details. - XXL MAGAZINE


Discography

'The Bartender' mixtape. June 2011
'20 Something' EP. September 2012 
'Ways To Go' Album. November 2013

Photos

Bio

After years of standing by as a spectator, a fan and avid lover of Hip-Hop, Natural felt it was no longer enough just to listen. A born storyteller, "Nat" has developed a discipline in the booth and on stage that has allowed him to create a strong presence in his local scene (Boston, MA), while touching different regions of the world with his talents. In less than three years, Natural has premiered two mixtape releases - 'The Bartender' (2011) and '20 Something' (2012); he has toured Europe, crafting his songwriting talents and experiencing different ways of life; and he has represented Boston at A3C Festival and SXSW.

His latest release, '20 Something', exhibits a more developed recording artist in Natural. He brings the same ferocious lyrical abilities, this time with a more concentrated collection of experiences, and attention to detail in the storytelling. The 11-track EP is more structured than 'The Bartender' and it follows Natural through his '20 Something' years.

With a very diverse upbringing, Natural has been blessed with the ability to view many aspects of life from both sides of the tracks. In his music, Natural draws from a plethora of experiences and carries a unique ability to connect with many different demographics. His words are marked with a realistic portrayal of himself and they feed off of his surroundings. Currently working with Rhoaming Music Group, Natural's third release, 'Ways To Go' was released Fall 2013 via  DJBooth.net