Getting the Dirt on Na Palm’s ‘Dirty Girls Love Dirty Beats’
Last week electro rapper Na Palm dropped his 23-track mix tape “Dirty Girls Love Dirty Beats.” Hop over to Datpiff to download it or stream it after the jump. Last week we caught up with the Chicago-based up-and-comer to discuss the mix tape, his artistic evolution beyond party anthems, Mike Posner, Keith Richards, and his plans to drop a freshman album….
BroBible: How did you get interested in hip-hop?
Na Palm: I’ve always been a fan of music in general, so I wasn’t only zoned in on hip-hop or whatever. I grew up listening to anything from the old-school legends like Snoop and Cube and many more. But I also loved The Rolling Stones, Radiohead, and some genres peeps may find different for the genre I ended up in. This all came about by accident as a result of me being a dope freestyler at late-night parties. So the interest has always been there in the music, but didn’t come ’til way later as a career path.
Tell us a little bit about “Dirty Girls like Dirty Beats.” Are you happy with the feedback thus far?
I had a confident feeling that if my fans and blogs/critics were feelin’ my small range of party joints I had put out like “Go Go Girl” and “Two Days Straight,” then they were gonna be floored with how deep I can go lyrically and storytelling-wise. I’m real proud of it. I told some emotional stories and really opened up on 23 tracks, so I went deep on it. It felt good and so natural to me because I’m just being myself. There are no gimmicks in my shit. It’s all real on the surface and within, so I think peeps see how genuine I am and connect with that.
The beats are deep and almost ethereal. Who put them together?
Yezzirrr, my right-hand man and producer that met me when I was just a dude with a little buzz in the clubs and a mic in my hand. Once I got full-time with him and we took him on with Tricoastal to oversee the whole project, it was game over. A 23-year-old Chicagoan, Na’el Shehade, is the prodigy behind my beats and incredible arrangements. We are always gonna be looking to diversify my sound and add producers on albums in the future, but he’s gonna be with me to the top. He’s one of the most dedicated professionals I have ever met; he lives in the lab. We tease him that he needs to get out and get more sun! But his focus is hits, and we ain’t complain about that.
Do you think “Dirty Girls Like Dirty Beats” shows a different side of Na Palm beyond the party tracks?
Absolutely. I wanted to prove to fans and reviewers that I got staying power. I wanted to show a glimpse of what I could do besides makin the club jump. This is only a fraction of what I know I am capable of, especially with the team I have around me and the names we will be adding to projects production-wise alongside Na’el. I just picked up a pen two years ago and I have a lot of growing to do, which I am excited for. I can’t wait to start working on the smash freshman album already. It’s gonna be interesting to hone in on my sound and really hit the audience hard with a true, pure album. The mixtape was scattered with different sounds on purpose. Slow jams, party jams, lyrical hip-hop cuts. I wanted to show the spread.
When did you begin performing live?
My first show was in spring of 2008. I only had two songs to perform and about 100 friends that came out to a pretty prominent club my brother/manager had connects with. That was actually a big turnout at the time and it snowballed from there. My catalog grew and so did buzz about my natural stage presence and crowd I could pull in. Clubs started taking notice and we could pick and choose where we wanted to go a few months down the road.
What’s the biggest show you’ve put on so far?
Last New Years, I was asked to headline at Alhambra Palace for a crowd of 1,500. It was cool because I won a lot of new fans who may not have been devout Na Palm followers, but happened to be there for the celebration. I love shows like that. It’s almost a challenge to work the crowd and the ladies in the front row and get them in the palm of my hand… pun intended. Ha.
Who are your five biggest music influences?
On the rap side, I grew up listening to Outkast, Jigga, Em, The Roots, and the other usual suspects. But I wouldn’t say they are mainstays in my music that I put out. I definitely have a comical side to me, which Em is the pioneer of, no doubt. My wordplay and all that doesn’t mirror anyone. My voice sounds unique, my delivery is unique in its own right on a lot of tracks.
The Chicago underground house music scene made me fall in love with electronic genre. And cats like Posner and the newest generation are really taking that to a mainstream pop market that I am digging. His sound is real dope. I love the feel-good vibe in electro pop music, if you will. Deadmau5 is another one on the production side of things that I have on repeat in the iPod, too. So, I more than respect all the masters that paved the way of the rap game, but I’m veering into a different lane and that was planned when I started this. I’ma always be a rapper, but that doesn’t mean I’ma be in the same convo with super lyrica, hip-hop-to-the-bone talents like J. Cole. I love hip-hop and electro, so I’m going to put ’em in a blender and make some Na Palm from it.
Who are your favorite up-and-comers on the scene?
As mentioned, definitely a huge Mike Posner fan. I got the chance to open for him in Chicago to a sellout crowd of 1,000 peeps. It was inspiring to see how he had the crowd chanting and singing along to every damn word he sang. He is definitely a business model we keep an eye on as far as the market he is hitting and touring with and all that. We are a very similar demographic, although he has different sounds with him being a singer. I’m a big fan, though, and know we have a smash single collaboration that could come out in the future if we cross paths.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Ha, well [Mike Posner] would be great for the first album, so I guess we could name drop him one more time. As far as a dream though?! I am a huuuuge Mick Jagger fan. It would be soooo ‘effing Brolific if I could get the legend tossing a riff and possible hook on a future track. Almost like a funky, blues-type, rock-pop joint or whatever it would be. That would be stupid dope to ink that one. Ha.
Are you working with any well-known producers or DJs on any projects?
Yes, I am going to be and am beyond excited. People are takin’ notice now and starting to see what my team has noticed since day one. In fact, in the last week I have been contacted by two uber big names in the industry. Gonna have to wait to hear names because the project is so far away. It’s just initial talks about where I want the project sound to go. Once we have the tracks in the works and smooth movin
g forward, I’ll be teasing out some names. But definitely look for us to go all in w
ith some hot hot hot producers and possibly a feature or two on the freshman album. The mixtape was an intro… the album is gonna be a breakout… an absolute game-changer. Guaranteed. I can’t be stopped with my fans and label and inseparable team behind me. The “work” comes easy for me.
What’s been your craziest experience in music so far?
Haha. We been gittin crazy since day one before all the music started, so we always pretended we were rockstars. I haven’t begun to tour yet, so I’m sure the stories will compile, though. So far, my tat story was def the craziest decision. I’m so proud if it and live with no regrets as it is. I had a show at a packed frat at Eastern Illinois University during fall of 2008 when I was just gettin rolling, when I was nobody and my homey Drew (my hype man on stage and hustler with Tricoastal as well) told them he had a white rapper friend. Turned out they went apeshit for me and were chanting my name by the end of the set. A light when off in my head. I can f*ckin’ do this if I really put my head into it.
I randomly was walkin to the gas station at around midnight after I had ripped the set and saw a tat parlor sign buzzing. I was with my girl and said, “Fuck it. I’ma get a tat.” In the previous months, I had always had a vision of a microphone being on my body if I took this to the next level one day. It wasn’t some drunken mistake I woke up with, but a few drinks definitely triggered the impulse. I got inked with a 12-inch microphone down my left ribcage with “No Turning Back” scripted in Latin. I wanted to put something permanent on me as a reminder every morning of the dream I was chasing. It’s a catalyst to get focusing and never taking failure as an option. It seems to be working out as planned. If not, I woulda had a pretty embarrassing story for my kids.
Planning on making big waves in the next year?
I absolutely plan on making big waves in the music game. I know I will too. And that’s not being cocky, just being real. I put my true heart and soul behind my music and I know that people feel that. I’m gonna always have people that doubt me or maybe not feel my genre of music; but if I always stay humble, thankful to my fans, thankful for this opportunity I have been given, and stay true to myself through my music, I don’t see anything stopping me. I’m not competing with anyone else or trying to… I’m doin it every single day and that is gonna take me places. My fans are only gonna grow and mature with me and my sound as it evolves. We’re gonna ride this crazy wave together ’til we say its over. I wanna be doing this for a long time. When I’m through and the dust has settled, I wanna be mentioned as one of the most talented and unique artists/entertainers the game has ever seen. We comin…
Want to help Na Palm perform in format of 40,000?! He asking his fans to please vote daily for a chance of a lifetime to join the legendary lineup of Nas, Damian Marley, Benny Benassi, Pretty Lights, and many more at the North Coast Music Festival in Chicago. Vote here or click on the picture below.