$not Talks - TRAGEDY +
With a flow that matches his calm demeanor, $not intertwines his deadpan delivery with themes of humor, love and sadness, all over ethereal bass-ladened beats to produce a sound that has garnered him widespread traction—yet the creative pays it little to no attention. "I don't even know what a come up is. I'm just making music," said the musician in office's exclusive interview.
Check out - TRAGEDY +, and read our conversation with the artist below.
How would you describe your own musical style of rap?
Sometimes, it's like dark. It's not dark to me—It's just, I can see why people say it's dark sometimes. I make whatever I want to make, you feel me? Like if I hear something, I'll get very inspired. So I'll make some hype shit or some sad shit, you know, that's how I feel.
How do you feel it's evolved over time since you started making music versus now?
It evolved like crazy. Like shit. In 2016, I was making some little jams, some little tracks. When I got in studios and shit, it just got serious.
Building off of that, can you tell us a little bit about how you curated your sound over time?
It was just easy for me, 'cause I'm familiar with it. I'll be inspired by a lot of artists, but I'm still trying to figure out my sound.
You always wear your hoodie in a really specific way. Why and when did you start doing that?
Shit, I don't know. People in Florida, they just be wearing hoodies. Like it could be 100 degrees, 200 degrees—everybody's wearing hoodies. So I'd wear my hoodie, and I wanted to make it like a brand or some shit. So I was just like, "I'll tighten it up, and it'll be my own shit."
You're from South Florida, which is so rich with musical culture and history, especially in terms of hip hop. So how has that influenced your music?
Oh, there's a lot of shit in Florida. There will be underground rappers, a lot of underground rappers for sure, and the Florida sound is, like, different. But I don't really—my sound is not Florida.
Did you make music with your friends or in that creative community community where you grew up?
No. To me, there's no community or anything. It was just me and my friend just making music.
Okay, cool. Are you still living in South Florida?
Are you just living with your friends there now?
I'm living with my family. And then, you know, my friends, I've got a lot of friends in Florida. So that's like my headquarters.
You were born in Brooklyn though, right?
So do you go back and forth between New York and Florida?
Uh, no. I mean, I have family in New York, but I don't come here all the time—I'm familiar though. I've been in Florida all my life, like type shit. So when I come here, it’s, like, kind of new, kind of old.
Your songs are often used on Triller and TikTok. Do you use either of those platforms?
Yeah, I'll use them, 'cause I'm just trying to put my shit out more, so people can listen.
How do you feel about your fans using your songs on those platforms?
On TikTok, it's mixed feelings. You know, sometimes it can be cringey. Sometimes, it can be like real lit. I don't know. I can't really explain. When I watch it, it's kinda cool, because people are dancing to my music, so it's just supporting. I like it.
Can you speak a little bit to your lyrical process?
Usually, I'll freestyle some shit and then write. Or I'll just punch in plenty of times if I'm at home recording.
So can you tell us a little bit about your highly anticipated debut album that just came out?
It's got a whole different sound, you know. It's just a whole bunch of different sounds. I want people to know that I can make different shit. I can make like some singing shit, or I don't know. Like it's just—it's not to prove myself or anything.
Is there something you want your listeners to take away when they're listening to it?
I just want them to chill, I just want them to vibe, you know what I'm saying? Like if they're sad, there's some sad songs in there, and if they're hype, there's some hype songs. It's a chill type of album. I don't really got any crazy features. There's like a surprise track, you know. It's like a little bonus.
You've said in a past interview that you choose your features wisely, and you collaborate with such different people from like Maggie Lindemann to Wifisfuneral. So can you break down how you choose your collaborators?
If the music sounds good, then I'll collab. Like it's just has to sound good. For me, it's not even about followers, any of that shit. It's like rap, you know what I'm saying? I treat myself like a brand, like Sprite or whatever. They won't put just anybody in their commercials. Like you could sound good, but if you're whack, I'm not putting you on. So that's just what it is.
When did you first realize you were on the come up?
I don't even know what a come up is. I'm just making music. I mean like, there was Billie Eilish vibing to one of my songs. That was crazy to me. And Euphoria.
What's the best lesson you learned so far as like a musician?
Just keep making music, you know what I'm saying? Like it don't matter. Even like a co-sign, don't take it too crazy. You feel me? 'Cause then it can be some fake shit. Like an artist could be like, "Yo, let's collab." Just to say they fuck with you. You know, some bullshit. So when you get big, and then they fall off, they can be like, "I was with you." That's some shit. Gotta like watch out for it, you know.
You've got your clothing company, you're touring, and you released an album. Is it difficult balancing all the different projects you've got cooking up?
Not really. I signed up for it, so I expected it.
From "MEGAN” to "MOON & STARS," your love life seems to inspire a chunk of your music. Are you single?
[Laughs] Fuck. Yeah, I'm single. Single like a Pringle.
You have such a dedicated fan base, and you're really good about communicating with them on your social media platforms. As you become more successful, is that going to stay being one of your prerogatives?
Yeah. Like I always gotta interact with the fans, you know? They're the ones that got me here. I talk to them and shit, be in a group chat, do the most, you feel me? Like FaceTime, all that shit. Some of them will have my number, which is weird. And they'll FaceTime, like, "You know me?" And I'm like, "Yeah."
What's something your fans might not know about you?
I'm a cool dude. I mean, everyone knows, but not a lot of people know. I'm a cool guy.