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Nino Bless got his start in the NYC mixtape scene in the mid to late 2000s. He first came to many fans’ attention with a killer verse on Joe Budden’s 2008 song “Slaughterhouse.” From there, he released a string of increasingly personal and powerful projects that revealed a true artist with a unique vision. His R.O.A.M. series of records, three albums deep, are complex, varied, and like nothing else out there. His latest project is Illuminati Reject.

We talked to “the Chomsky of Ebonical speech” about getting encouragement from your idols; how he made “Rhyme of the Year (MK Ultra),” his epic “response to the response” to Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse; how New York City has changed; how Drake is truly the realest rapper out; and much more.

Tracks featured in this episode:

  1. Fox 5 report on DJ Drama raid, January 2007
  2. Nino Bless f/Styles P, Kool G Rap, & Joell Ortiz, “4 In The Clip”
  3. Nino Bless f/Joe Budden, “Times Are Hard”
  4. Big Daddy Kane f/ Kool G. Rap, “Raw (Original Version)”
  5. Nino Bless, “Name Dropping”
  6. GZA, “Labels”
  7. Nino Bless, “This Song Might Get Me Killed”
  8. Nino Bless, “Cause of Influence”
  9. Nino Bless, “Alien Jesus”
  10. Nino Bless, “Alien Jesus”
  11. Nino Bless, “Brooklyn to Hell and Back”
  12. Nino Bless, “No Love”
  13. Nino Bless, “My Time”
  14. The Supremes, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  15. Vanilla Fudge, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  16. Kim Wilde, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  17. Janelle Arthur, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  18. Colourbox, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  19. Nino Bless, “Rhyme of the Year (MK Ultra)”
  20. Nino Bless, “Find A Balance Freestyle”
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