The Bottom Line
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The Bottom Line

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"Butler Student Serves in Afghanistan, Raps"

-will willems

When most rappers come up with their lyrics, they rap about something that is familiar to them. For Ludacris it's the South. For 50 Cent it's his life on the streets. Eminem has his life in Detroit. Then there is the "BottomLine."

The new rapper tring to make it big in Indianapolis is better known as Nate Palin around the Butler University campus. He effortlessly fits in with the decorum of the typical student, usually wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt with backpack in tow.

What is not normal about Palin is the way he got to college.

Palin, 25, is an ex-Army Ranger who is three years off a stint in the current conflict in Afghanistan. He now stands as a junior marketing major and a rapper trying to get noticed by a big company.

Originally signed up to attend Indiana University, Palin decided college wasn't for him and joined the Army one month after his high school graduation. His decision to join the Rangers was based on Palin being an "adrenaline junkie" who wanted to test himself in the best way possible.

"I've never been one to settle for being average," Palin said. "Rangers is not just a unit but a family of brothers bound by their love for each other and their mission. I wanted to be a part of that family."

When Palin's four year term ended in 2004, his initial thought was signing up for another term of duty. But, with his girlfriend waiting with an engagement ring on her finger, Palin decided to "settle down and start the family thing."

Upon returning to the United States, Palin married his wife Regina and settled down with extended family in Indianapolis. He decided to attend Butler to fulfill his goal of finishing college.

As a way to cope with adjusting to life after the Army, Palin began to write lyrics on paper as a way to put his frustrations and hopes into words.

Palin had taken up rapping on one of his leaves while visiting friends in Boston. According to his website,, he was listening to Eminem to stay awake while driving.

When he came back from leave, he was on his way to military leadership training when he just started freestyling to make fun of the bus driver. Realizing his talent, freestyling competitions became a regular thing at the bars.

"We freestyled about anything and everything," Palin said. "Probably the easiest thing is to make fun of the people you are freestyling with because it becomes competetive. Whoever ran out of decent content would buy shots for the winner, and, of course, we freestyled a toast before the shots."

Palin says now his material comes from real-life experience and things that have affected him. But one thing he really doesn't want to play up his past. As one of his lyrics states, "I made a pact to only say what I can back and I won't backtrack when my past gets ransacked."

One way he tried to fit in at Butler was joining the Butler club soccer team. Friend and teammate junior Joel Smith said he didn't know of Palin's past until a couple months after he met him.

"It was nearly two months before I even knew Nate was in Army," Smith said. "He doesn't want any special attention from the fact that he was a Ranger."

Last spring Palin hit the studio, putting his writing to the air and released and EP entitled "Weapon of Choice" that had his first six songs on it. He then got ready to try to get heard by selling it for $5 around campus and Indianapolis.

Palin started to take gigs wherever he could in order to get heard. He has played at Starbucks on campus and bars around Broad Ripple to start attracting the Butler audience. So far, performing at the bars to reach smaller crowds hasn't affected him.

"Hitting the bars for shows hasn't worn me out yet," Palin said. "However, rarely close the bar down like I used to when I started promoting. Now I'm more prone to drink Red Bulls hoping to stay awake until the owner is ready to pay me. I try to stay responsible so I get invited back to do more shows."

Palin has been fairly well received from his shows around Indy. Although some of the shows may not be well attended, everyone there seems to be having a good time.

Smith has gone to a few of his shows with guys from the soccer team and has always been entertained.

"He is always well received," Smith said. "He is a white rapper in Indianapolis, so it's a little uncommon, but when people listen to his lyrics and realize he's good, they really get into it."

The next CD is in the works, so Palin's fans have something to look forward to. He says he may take a month off in November to put some songs together, but there may be three or four shows in Broad Ripple during December.

The next album is going to feature more rock influenced rap, "a Linkin Park type," underground hip hop and slightly more mainstream music.

Palin says right now he doesn't have many long-term aspirations but that doesn't mean he wouldn't mind making it big.

"I want to hear my song playing in - Butler University Collegian

"Indy on the Mic"

"Bottom Line uses his smooth, airtight flow to deliver honest, self-deprecating rhymes -- think Eminem without the Jerry Springer baggage."

-Matt Gonzales, Intake Weekly

- Intake Weekly


New Album - "Real to Reel- A Cinema Life" Coming Summer 2008!



Tired of the typical commercial mold being abused ad nauseam by today's radio rappers, BottomLine, aka Nate Palin emotionally lays his own life on the tracks he raps on. Not from the ghetto and not trying to be, Nate provides the "bottom line" on his past and present views of the world from the perspective of a suburban upbringing and a wild four year enlistment as an Army Ranger (where he started rapping). His recollections and opinions are cleverly wrapped in an honest package of intricate wordplay and delivered with soulfully raw vocals.