Even with his back against the wall, literally, Chicago-native Novakane never gave up on himself or his dream. While serving a 6-year stint behind bars, the versatile wordsmith may have been locked down physically; he was mentally unbound. Taking his Rap moniker from fellow inmates who marveled at his numbness to pain when he would pound on the concrete walls and iron poles to harmonize with the rhymes he had penned, the artist formally known as LS, was resurrected as Novakane. And these days, the only bars the skilled MC is concerned with are the ones he drops over beats that slap your head sideways or melodic slow burners that speak to the ladies.
While growing up on the self-described “grimy” streets of Chi-Town’s Westside, Novakane also recalls fonder memories of a time when the elder’s of the community looked out for one other, making sure the neighborhood kids attended school and immediately reprimanded them if they stepped out of line. “It was grimy but organized,” says the laidback lyricist. “Everybody was supportive as long as you were doing something positive.” Novakane witnessed and admired rappers in his zone such as Crucial Conflict, Do or Die and Twista, who often performed free shows in the local park, which ignited a passion in the youngster. Even though he possessed the lyrical talent to rhyme, he viewed his skills as nothing more than a hobby- that is until he paid his debt to society. “I used my down time to write and work hard on my craft. I would create beats in my head and play it all out on the tables at night. I did it so much that I became great at it.”
It’s no surprise that he creates soulful hood music seeped in old soul vibes being that he grew up listening to the likes of NWA, Too $hort and Ice Cube, courtesy of his father’s panache for West Coast Gangster Rap. His Billboard charting single, “Shawty Said” is a perfect example of Novakane’s distinctive odd mix of applying a range of sounds. From trunk rattling 808 and smoothed out keys, to precautionary street tales, D-boy anthems, club bangers and female-friendly joints, Novakane is giving a voice to a whole new generation. The single was parked on the top 10 of BET’s 106 & Park’s video countdown for a solid week, which is an incredible feat for a new artist on the scene. “I was surprised with the success of ?Shawty Said, although the content of the song was strong and from the heart. People related to the picture I painted and the hook was catchy. I really wanted to create a single that people could relate to.”
The experience of life on the streets of Chicago eventually brought the MC to Memphis, where he begin a new existence far from the pace of his old lifestyle. Upon arriving to the South, Novakane met Money By Da Pound Records (MBP) CEO Jay and the two men formed a bond over a period of time. “My main thing is loyalty and to have a real team behind me that’s not just out for a check. I decided to do business with MBP when I realized that Jay had my dreams in his heart, that’s what sold me.”
Currently in the studio working on his new mixtape entitled United Streets of America a disc that will feature artists like Gucci Man, MJG & 8Ball, Don Trip, Young Buck & Boo Rosenni. Novakane is on a mission to solidify himself in the game. The 6’2? boss enlisted production heat from established beat bangers such as Carlos Broady (Mary J. Blige, Biggie, 112), DJ Squeeky (Young Jeezy, Yo Gotti, Pastor Troy), and Swizzo (Boyz N Da Hood, Gangsta Boo), to name a few. He is also cooking up heat on the MBP collabo disc that will feature all of label artists that is guaranteed to be a classic.
Knowing he is destined for greatness and following suit in pursuit of his top spot amongst the Hip-Hop ranks, Novakane’s ability to rap every rhyme in great detail is what sets him apart. “I’ve made some mistakes, I’ve taken responsibility for them and I’m pushing forward. God has given me the talent for music and I feel if I don’t use it, I’ll lose it.” And it wouldn’t be wise to bet against a man who is resistant to pain.