Nef The Pharaoh
By Jack Barnes
With his outsized personality, laid-back flow, and ability to ride any beat, Nef The Pharaoh is a leading emcee of the new Bay Area renaissance. Fresh off the national When It’s Dark Out tour supporting G-Eazy, alongside A$AP Ferg and Marc E. Bassy, the hyperactive Bay Area wunderkind announcesFresh Outta Space 3, a 14-track mixtape releasing on September 1st. Featuring appearances from Snoop Dogg, YMTK, Corn Sosa and JG, Fresh Outta Space 3 represents a return to Nef’s roots, continuing the 2011 Fresh Outta Space mixtape series, which features some of the E-40 protege’s earliest recordings. With production from Cardo Got Wings, P-Lo, Arkitekz, Jay Nari of League of Stars and more, Fresh Outta Space 3 is a homecoming for the Vallejo rapper, and the next step on his path to greatness.“I’m fresh from being on the road for so long. I’m finally back home, back in the Bay, and I’m feeling saturated,” Nef The Pharaoh told The FADER. “This project reflects that I’ve become more wise in my surroundings; I’ve become more alert to life – I appreciate things more. Every day I wake up happy I’m here. This mixtape is me giving myself to the world and doing what I’m supposed to do. And giving you a fun soundtrack for your life.”
Today, The FADER premieres “Everything Big,” the project’s first single and a spiritual successor to “Big Tymin’,” Nef The Pharaoh’s breakthrough hit. On “Everything Big,” Nef celebrates his celebrity status, rocking a sing-song flow over P-Lo‘s smooth keys, trunk-rattling bass, and snapping snares: “I’m a pharaoh and these other n*ggas peasants,” Nef accurately asserts in the song’s opening verse. Thevideo finds Nef living the high life, rocking a chinchilla bathrobe in his Bay Area mansion, stunting with P-Lo in near his expensive cars, and floating with some models in his infinity pool. “This is an exuberant Chang Chang,” explains Nef The Pharaoh. “I recently had a son and now I’m able to support him financially and emotionally. This song celebrates that.”
Following E-40 and Mac Dre, the forefathers of Vallejo hip-hop, the 21-year-old Nef has undoubtedly adopted the area’s colorful style and slang while being a pioneering voice in the youth movement. Signed to E-40‘s Sick Wid It Records, Nef The Pharaoh delivered his debut retail release, a self-titled EP, in November to high critical praise. Nef followed his breakthrough project by joining producer Cardofor Neffy Got Wings, a collaborative EP which released in January. In the ensuing months, Nef kept a high profile as a featured artist, appearing with D.R.A.M. on E-40’s “Slappin’“ which has nearly 600,000 views on YouTube, interpolating Shaggy’s immortal “It Wasn’t Me” on “H.B.I.C.” from Bay Area producer Juneonnabeat‘s solo album, joining fellow rising star Rexx Life Raj for “Moxie Java,” and teaming with Casey Veggies for the DJ Mustard-produced “Stupidly Crazy,” stealing the spotlight from Future on the highlight from DJ Esco‘s E.T.: The Esco-Terrestrial. At the top of the summer, Nef released , a collection of early freestyles that features Nef rhyming over other people’s beats, including Timbaland‘s beat for Aaliyah’s “Try Again,” and Mannie Fresh‘s beat for Lil Wayne‘s “Shine.”
The 21-year-old emcee’s newest mixtape, Fresh Outta Space 3, releases September 1st.
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