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Nems tells Apple Music about ‘Rise of the Silverback’, prior life as a sanitation worker, and his signature catchphrase

Photo: Courtesy of Apple Music

Unofficial mayor of Coney Island Nems joins Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1 to discuss his project ‘Rise of the Silverback’, hearing his song on the radio for the first time whilst on the job as a sanitation worker, the origin of his signature catchphrase ‘Bing Bong’, working with Fat Joe and Ghostface Killah, and more.

Photo: Courtesy of Apple Music

Nems says Fat Joe and Ghostface Killah ‘bodied’ him on his own album

Scram had the beat with Fat Joe already on it, like an old beat. And I was like, “No, I don’t want to do that.” He was like, “No.” He talked me into it. And right before the album dropped, literally two weeks, Fat Joe was like, “Yo, I want to change my verse.” I was like, “Bro, it’s already handed in.” He’s like, “Yo, please.” I was like, “Go ahead.” And he bodied it and then he made me want to change my version. I couldn’t change it, because it was already… I was like, “Damn, he bodied me on my s**t.”…When Ghostface sent that verse, he sounds like, ‘Enter The 36 Chambers’ Ghostface. I was like, “This is amazing.” I was like, I’ll happily let him get the better verse. I’m more for a song coming together and sounding complete rather than me having a better verse. If the legend is shining, shine on.

Nems on battling addiction and getting clean

Addicted and struggling probably for the better part of a decade, probably eight or nine years. I was a heroin addict, know what I’m saying? I couldn’t stop. It brought me to the bottom, to places I never thought I would be. It scared me. Homeless, sleeping in project staircases, in and out of Rikers, going up north for a robbery charge, giving up on my dreams. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke weed, nothing. So, it’s been probably thirteen years since that. Every day, nothing. Thirteen years clean.


Nems on getting recognised for his hit ‘Bing Bong’ whilst collecting trash as a sanitation worker

So, I’m throwing out garbage. The super of the building’s like, “Yo, you look familiar. I know you.” I was like, “I don’t know, throwing out the garbage.” Somebody out of nowhere is just like, gets out they car, “Yo Nems, they playing you on Hot 97.” Starts blasting ‘Bing Bong’, right? Somebody else starts blasting it. They get out they car. Then, the super’s like, “I knew I knew you from somewhere.” Bro, it became like a f***ing block party at 7:00 in the morning. And I’m like, “Oh, s**t. Let me finish throwing this f***ing garbage out.” And that day, I hit Kast One like, “Yo, thank you for playing.” I told him the story and I was like, “Yo, but don’t tell nobody, man. This is like my Superman, the Clark Kent, don’t let nobody know.”

Nems on getting suspended from his job as a sanitation worker for filming a music video on the job

I put out the video for ‘Gahbage’ and got suspended thirty days, because I took their trucks. I was in uniform rapping. S**t was fire though. I had to take the video down, but it’s back up now. But I had to even censor it, because I had my man take the street sweeper out, and I was hanging off the side of the street sweeper through the video. He had to edit that part out.


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