Nashville’s music scene reigns supreme throughout the South, but that typically doesn’t involve Hip-Hop. While Memphis and Atlanta boast of the plethora of rap stars within their city limits, Nashville’s home to the legends of Country music and The Grand Ole Opry.
Nathan Fouts has a different method for the 615, and it sure as hell doesn’t include country ballads. At 24, Fouts has worked with famed MS legend, Big Krit, and has spread his sound all throughout the country with his tour schedule.
We met up with Nathan and his label, Cake Records, in Ocean Springs to get a taste of the energy in a live setting. Enjoy a snippet of Nathan Fouts live!
The following interview has been edited for content and clarity.
Jonas: Nashville is known for its music, but it isn’t Hip-Hop. How did you find your path within rapping?
Nathan: I was born in Murfreesboro which is like 30 minutes south of Nashville. Simply man, it’s a farm town. I grew up listening to oldies and whatever I could find on the radio. The Shirelles ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ is the one that I remember the most vividly, along with some old Jerry Lee Lewis. I was all over the place with my music taste. Around that same time MTV and all that shit was on too but my parents weren’t about it. They even would change rap music when it came on or something, so that obviously made me love it more.
Jonas: Your top streamed track, ‘Educated’, more or less put you on the worldwide radar. How did you approach the single in marketing terms, and did you anticipate its viral success?
Nathan: So it originated from my reflection on humans innate love for violence – specifically the school shootings that are killing the youth. I think the number at the time was around 113 people injured by school shootings when I dropped the track that year. If you listen to the chorus, it’s talking about killing and what it means to say you’re going to kill someone. Obviously we all enjoy violent movies and we live for violent sports but I wanted to spark a different conversation – more so on the procession of a white man with a gun and what that means today. I ended up deciding on making somewhat of a social experiment with the release and staged a video that ended up catching 25 million views all over social media.
Jonas: Sheesh, what on earth did you incorporate in the video that sparked that level of viewership?
Nathan: So it’s a video of me in my little room holding my dad’s old revolver. Educated is playing in the background, and I load a blank into it. As I sing the line, ‘Why does violence so goddamn entertaining’ – the gun goes off. I drop the weed I’m smoking and I put on a lil acting to seal the deal. My mom was against the idea but she knew I’d do it anyway, so she wanted to make sure it was safe and all that. At the end of it, she runs in and beats my ass. It was all pretty interesting to put together. HoodClips, gun activists … fucking everyone was posting the video with some sort of caption on either gun safety or my stupidity.
Jonas: Seems to me that you are pretty comfortable taking risks. Don’t implicate yourself legally, but within the track you have a line:
‘’I aint ask for more, I just got it. I worked at the store and still robbed it.”
What’s the backstory aside from the obvious?
Nathan: I wouldn’t even say I stole nice shit like, I just looked at it like I was getting back over the system in that sorta way. While I was working at this major retail store, I just became very disgruntled and restless man. That’s all that was. It’s the realization that these people at your job don’t care about you. They don’t bro. Saying that, I never copped more than a t shirt here or there – but it happened a few times.
Jonas: Relatively early in your career you ended up landing a spot on Krit’s album. How did you connect? As a Mississippi based site, the love for Big Krit runs deep.
Nathan: I connected with him through a producer, Jim Johnson. He and Krit are close and when it came time for TDT to be mixed, Jim hit me and asked to send him some shit over. After that, Krit ran with it as he saw fit and it was placed on ‘1 Oh Oh.’ It’s pretty wild because I really recorded that snippet on Snapchat and it ended up on the tape.
Jonas: As a 24 year old, is there any advice you’d give a younger version of yourself who’s finding his footing within Hip-Hop?
Nathan: I’m not sure. I wouldn’t change anything – but I’d probably reiterate that there’s no rush… just don’t look back. Don’t be a yes-man or act real desperate. Yes, you should should want it really bad, but don’t sell your individuality for the check.
Jonas: Before I forget, where did the nickname Littlefoot come from? Is it as straightforward as it sounds?
Nathan: Well with my last name being Fouts and having an older brother – I was tagged ‘Little Fouts’ which just morphed into Littlefoot overtime. It also sort of adapted out of my live for The Land Before Time . Steven Spielberg + George Lucas co-directing the film, and Diana Ross singing over the soundtrack just blew my mind. Just so the people know!
Jonas: Whoa, I had no idea. What’s next for Littlefoot?
Nathan: I n terms of releases, I’m dropping a shit ton of singles man. If they end up landing on the album, so be it. I got you on a lil’ exclusive, the next album is going to be called J et Pack . I got the idea from just my mindset of continually going up- all while burning the loud pack. In terms of the next single release, the track will be called ‘Ridin w/ that Duty.’
Jonas: Well, Auxford Wave has the exclusive. Be on the lookout for Nathan Fouts’ next single ‘Ridin w/ that Doody’ dropping this month! Thanks for the time Nathan.
Nathan: Always bro! Y’all follow me on the social platforms. I got a lot in store for the people!