Keep an eye on Tāmaki Makaurau-based rapper Nauti.
Nauti has also gained recognition from the local hip hop scene, with Melodownz, Diggy Dupé, Eno X Dirty, and Bailey Wiley counting amongst his fans.
In the past two years, the rising MC has had a prolific output, delivering two EPs – Voodoo Child this year and Road to a Brick in 2022.
The Gotham EP, described as a concept project, delves into gritty, graphic storytelling and raw energy. Nauti employs Gotham City as a metaphor for his experiences growing up in Auckland, addressing themes of crime, racism, gangs, and greed.
The heavy-hitting six-track collection blends trap beats, powerful basslines, and haunting samples. Nauti’s rap style also nods to his proud Haitian heritage, infusing the music with ethereal smoothness. Adding depth to the project are features from local artist Franko G and US-based artist Xavier Holliday.
“We’ve always felt like the underdogs,” Nauti explains. “Sometimes you feel like you need to fit in. In my case, at times I’d feel like I had to bite my tongue to get plays on the radio or talk about a particular subject in a specific manner to be accepted, but we’re already at the bottom, so it’s time to say what needs to be said.”
Nauti further elaborated on his new EP with Rolling Stone AU/NZ:
“When the sun sets, the city gets consumed by sin. Gotham symbolises the evils that plague the land, the perspective of a kid coming out the other end and being aware of the harsh truths that surround us. Battling ego with soul. After not listening to this project for years, it’s a pretty dope feeling knowing I’ve elevated from that tier of life & state of mind.
“Even through my toughest times, I’ve known that being born in Aotearoa was the ultimate blessing. Unlike the life my brothers and sisters live in Haiti. The sad part about re-listening to this project is that this evil force is still at large, preying on those that are pure and converting the weak. These days my mind and energy are on investing back into the community. Man’s sick of adding to the problem.”
Nauti’s Gotham EP is out now.