Local Love

Rachetly Woke — Balancing Both Worlds with Natomas Slimm

Confession time
I have been friends with Natomas Slimm for a few years now.

Second confession
I had NO idea I was friends with Natomas Slimm until about two months before writing this article.
Alright alright, I know that it doesn’t make any damn sense, but let me try to explain. For the last few years I have been friends with this awesome dude named Al. Al is a really lovely guy in his late twenties, who has an adorable daughter that he adores. Since I have known him Al has never been a man to mince words. He is fairly open about his opinions when it comes to politics, ethics, and his own view points on world events and because of his platform as a fraternity brother, he is often a pillar in the community of brothers that he interacts with in the hopes of affecting positive change in his community.

Al is a good ass dude.

With the fact that I write about music (and hip hop predominantly) my IG alorithms are set up so that a lot of my sponsored posts tend to come from artists pushing music, which is fine with me because it gives me the chance to discover something new, good or bad. I have been basically neglected IG up until recently, so I try my hardest to get on there to scroll around and see what is going on out in the world. So one day I am scrolling through and a sponsored ad pops up for some dudes new single. In the video snippet I was seeing the typical image of cars, clothes, bling and bitches so I was about to keep scrolling. Until I noticed one very obvious difference…

…This video was starring my highly educated, community driven, woke-ass homie Al. (ps I hate the word woke, but it fits in this context)

As the minute long clip played, my brain began to attempt to wrap itself around the information it was receiving:

Al is Slimm
Slimm is Al
Finkle is Einhorn (if you get that joke I fuck with you so heavy)

dramatic re-enactment of me that day

dramatic re-enactment of me that day

With that realization in mind, there was only one thing to do

“Yo,” I messaged him instantaneously, “we need to sit down and do an interview ASAP.”
We met a few days later at one of my favorite local haunts, Old Soul Coffee in Oak Park. I arrived late, which is fairly typical for me, so when I walked in Al was already there, looking plush as fuck in the big leather chair, dripped-out watch wrapped around his wrist that had a face bigger than mine, sipping a latte hella-cool like.

“Oh ok, you swagged out today…” I quipped

“Ahhhh yeah I got a friends’ kids birthday so I just got ready and headed this way.”

“Dressed like you going to a club though I mean.. how old is the kid? LOL Imma let it slide only because in Chiancx culture all of our ‘kids parties’ are really for the adults so…..”

“So you get it!” he laughed.

“I do, imma grab a drink real quick hang out I will be back.”

for real what he showed up dressed like lol

for real what he showed up dressed like lol

As I walked to the counter I tried to come up with a fairly polite or at least diplomatic way to explain why I wanted to sit down with him. I mean, how do you go about letting your friend know that he makes no fucking sense anymore without sounding crass as hell? I mean.. what are the right words that you can say? As I placed my order, I pondered over the proper phrasing.

“Alright Al I won’t lie, I asked you hear because you make no fucking sense to me anymore.”

So much for diplomacy?

Luckily, he just laughed.

“What does that even mean?”

I went on to describe to him that I had recently discovered his Clark Kent-esque alter ego Natomas, and that the raw truth was that I was confused by it. In reality, I was struggling to rectify the two very opposite dichotomies in my head. (triple word score for dichotomies)

“I guess I just don’t get it like… I have known you as one person this whole time. This person I know goes off on those perpetuating rape culture, goes off on racists, gets loud on injustice and has no qualms about being that dude that fights for the voiceless if he can… and then I found your music and it’s hella… opposite.’ I laughed, hoping he would know that I meant it with the most loving way possible.

Bless him for laughing with me, again.

“Why is it so confusing? It’s still me.”

“For about a million reasons. I didn’t even know you did music, first off. You have NEVER mentioned it since we have known each other, AND it is nowhere on your FB. Then all of a sudden I discover you have thousands of fans and streams, you have done songs with Sage the Gemini, you host a damn radio show on KUBU and are somehow doing all of it while maintaining your sense of self on a personal note. What the holy fuck is going on? Who are you? lol”

“I’m both.”

The statement seemingly makes sense. I understand all of the words, both separately and together. There just doesn’t seem to be a way for me to get it with HIM involved.

“Okay so then this leads me to the main question — what about artists having a responsibility to speak out on the times or to use their platforms for the ‘greater good’?”

“I think it is my responsibility as an artist to take care of my fans — but in all facets. Like yeah I get it, in real life I am conscious and opinionated — but I don’t want to go to the club to decompress on a Saturday night and listen to Talib wax poetic on the injustices of the world. I want to unwind, I want to enjoy, maybe I even want to turn the fuck up? How imma do that to political speak? Who does that shit?” he spoke while still laughing at my confusion.

For the record, I think I only looked confused because he was right. There has never been once in my life that I was sitting in the living room with the crew, smoking blunts, sipping and laughing as we get ready for a night out where you would hear me say “You know what yall, I really need to just blow off some steam. We should finish pre-gaming, head to the club, and twerk it out to Dead Prez!”

Nope. Not never once.

The reality is that as I have gotten into my 30s, I think I have allowed the climate around me to make me cynical. Ironically, I do not mean that it’s the 20 year old Lil Pump fans bumping Gucci Gang and rocking multi-colored grills turning me sour — rather I mean the folks that came up with me. The ones who still had to rock walkmans and discmans in our pockets (which is the ENTIRE reason baggy ass pants were popular btw – we needed somewhere to fit those clunky ass things) and remember a time when cell phones had antennas and only played Snake. Even though we came from a generation who proclaimed we would never be like our parents, asking our kids to turn down their shitty music and reminiscing on “the time when music was music”, many of the OG hip hop heads that I know are leaning, if not completely falling into that realm. It’s hard to not get dragged down there with it.

It turns out I might have been letting it get to me.
Natomas Slimm, aka my friend Al, opened my eyes to a lot of things in this interview, and I promise you he wasn’t trying to. I learned that this is a man who is seamlessly juggling about three full time lives — as father, radio personality/artist, and woke human. What is perplexing is why we always feel like those things have to be separate? Why do we assume that being one thing, automatically negates you from being the other?

Slimm is Al.
Al is Slimm.

Al being a good guy doesn’t negate him from making raunchy music — his raunchy music doesn’t make him a bad guy.
It’s a good fucking reminder.
You know what else is good? Natomas Slimm’s new video ‘Ride This Wave’ that dropped a week ago and is already hitting damn near 200k views. It’s raunchy, it’s wavey, and there are at LEAST 10 naked bidges in the first 60 seconds of it. I love it though — the sound is vibey, and it feels like a warm summer day in the middle of a rainy ass winter. It feels like that fifth shot of whiskey when you know you shouldn’t, but you hella drink it, and you hella love it.

Feel free to take a peek, catch a vibe, and enjoy

You can also follow him on errything @natomasslimm

IG, FB, Twitter, Soundcloud, Youtube, iTunes

Fuck it. Just google him;)
Liv Tested
Stoner Approved

@thelivstyler = IG



Olivia Monahan

January 9th, 2018

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