Rap God Natia Shows How To Do It Right On Track “The Wrong Way”
“I swear we love living the wrong way/Everything that we wanted we had to take,” Natia Maluia raps on his mixtape Newport Diaries. “The Wrong Way” offers a glimpse into the life Natia is currently living: Halfway between growing up in the streets and becoming a successful rapper, he’s a young man who’s gone from nothing to something, still humble, but aware that he no longer fits into the life in front of him—“Hundred dolla dessert and eat the whole lava cake.” His dreams might be childlike, but that doesn’t make Natia naive. “I believe you have to work hard for all the shit you want. If you don’t spend a minimum of 10,000 hours working on your craft, then you won’t be great,” he told me.
“Are you great?” I joked.
“At this point, I consider myself the greatest,” he answered without an ounce of hesitation.
It was 10pm in the middle of the week when I arrived to Natia’s music video shoot for “The Wrong Way,” surrounded by a squad of supportive friends from all different walks of life. Natia’s a skater, model and rapper, so it’s no surprise his inner circle includes an array of talented kids all aspiring for the same type of greatness. “I’ve learned to utilize motherfuckers. I don’t like the word ‘using’ because to me, that means taking advantage of somebody for one thing,” he continued, “When you utilize somebody, you upgrade. My homies all upgrade each other. When one of us is missing, we’re not utilizing ourselves to our fullest potential.”
Growing up in North Inglewood, Natia longed to reach his fullest potential earlier than most: “I knew I wanted to be a rapper since I was 16,” he continued, “That’s why I want my music to send real life messages–not just to adults, but to kids. I want to tell them you can’t be indecisive when you’re young, you have to know what you want.”
Just because Natia knows what he wants doesn’t mean he won’t admit his mistakes. “This song [‘The Wrong Way’] is about all the shit we’ve ever done–good and bad. When we’re up, we’re up,” he continued, “We were up at the time I made this song, but it was also our first time having money. I realized that when you make fast bread, you spend it even faster.”
“With successes in both skating and modeling for Undefeated, what made you choose music?” I needed to know.
“I’m smart and black, music is in my blood,” he said.
Listen to more of Newport Diaries on Soundcloud.