“I understand that people need to have reference points to understand new things better. The sound, people are still trying to grasp where to put it.” – Eagle Nebula
I was first introduced to Eagle Nebula by way of her song “Funny” that stuck out as one of my favorite tracks on a Blind I compilation back in 2009. The first thing that hit me was how strong the beat knocked and after I picked myself off the floor I digested her unique delivery and wordplay. Her lyrics are honest and nostalgic most of the time, reminiscing on a moment in some of our lives that was pure and amazingly unfolding in front of our eyes. Not laced with sexual exploits, profanity or stripper pole dreams that some of her female contemporaries fall victim to stay relevant, Eagle Nebula has a voice that I want to hear.
“It’s the way in 7th grade I used to bump to Mobb Deep” – Funny
DJS: It amazes me that while you were in 7th grade being affected by Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous” I was a freshman in college having my own personal experience with that album. Hip Hop is the soundtrack of our lives. What other hip-hop albums in your past had a major effect on you when they were released?
EN: I was fortunate to be in junior high school when a lot of great hip-hop albums were coming out around 1995-1997. I was heavy into each Wu-Tang release, but rocked Liquid Swords, Iron Man, (Only Built for)Cuban Links and ODB really hard. I was really into Devine Styler, Del, Handsome Boy Modeling School and Bahamadia. I love The Pharcyde so both Bizzare Ride and LabCabinCalifornia are major albums for me. Along with a healthy dose of Freestyle Fellowship, De La Soul’s Stakes is High and Buhloone Mindstate and Tribe. I really fell in love with albums that had that early Jay Dee production on it. Of course, Fantastic Vol. 2 and J-88.
DJS: You seem to be fond of remembering specific things from childhood. What other things from your childhood do you have fond memories of?
EN: I’m hella nostalgic in general, but the song you are referring to is off the album, Cosmic Headphones, which was created with a childhood friend of mine, so it was a nostalgic creative period for me. My most fond childhood memories are of my mother (a dancer) dragging me around to various art, music and dance parties in LA, all the while wishing I was at home watching TV. She would insist that I needed to see and experience these things and I’m so glad she did. Most of my great memories from childhood are centered around Leimert Park in the mid to late 90’s. It’s amazing how much those years shaped me.
DJS: When listeners first hear an artist, it is natural for them to place a genre on them or make a comparison in order to explain their sound. Have you ever been compared to any rapper and how do you feel about people categorizing sounds and making comparisons?
EN: I used to get MC Lyte or KRS One a lot in the beginning. I understand that people need to have reference points to understand new things better. The sound, people are still trying to grasp where to put it. For me, it is more about a feeling than a sound. It’s a vibration that the universe wants to exist and it is manifesting through me and many others. I’m just a vessel. Put it in whatever category you want, as long as the vibe can be felt there.
DJS: I recently made a tweet about how I feel that due to the type of rap that is being pushed by the industry it is directly affecting how women interact amongst themselves and with the public. I feel that women today that listen to mainstream rap are very aggressive and can sometimes be negative. How do you feel about this opinion and do you feel that mainstream rap music affects women’s behavior?
EN: Mainstream rap plays a greater role in our culture than most would like to actually believe. Life is imitating art on a greater level than ever before because now, that art is everywhere all the time. In your computer, on your phone, blasting out of car windows…Songs are affirmations and we often get what we affirm. I think in addition to making folks aggressive, it has helped perpetuate a lack of sensitivity to what’s happening in the real world. It affects women in a lot of different ways, from the way we relate to one another, to our standards for our mates and even the standards we put on ourselves and each other. Everybody just wants the music video as their life. That’s a major cultural fail.
DJS: I see a strong cosmic influence on your style, where did that manifest from?
EN: I come from a Trekky Sci-Fi family. My brother is a Science Fiction writer and my dad used to play 2012: A Space Oddessy on loop when I was a kid. My grandfather was an astrologist, so I feel connected to the spiritual aspects of space as well. I think there is something in the water in LA that makes a lot of us have a slight space obsession. Plus, I’m and 80’s kid, so I want a flying car and a house like The Jetsons.
- Octavia Butler The illest
- Africa Tro Tro
- Business That’s what this is.
- Legendary aren’t we all?
- Crab um. I don’t bang homie.
- California WEST!
- Brooklyn needs more swimming pools and better schools
- Headphones make sure they’re COSMIC!
- Image warfare
- Quality over quantity
DJS: One of my favorite things about your style is your beat choice. I’m a beat junkie so production plays a major role into whether or not I dig a tune. What producers would you like to work with and why?
EN: I’ve been fortunate to work with some really amazing and talented producers over the years. I appreciate working with artists who I can grow and build with. I feel it when our working together makes us both better artists. I like to work with people who believe in magic and newness over formulaic cookie cutter vibes. I’d love to work with Four Tet, Shabazz Palaces or Earl Blaze of Anti Pop cuz they are fearless and I love the vibe and the energy of what they do.
DJS: When did you decide that you wanted to become an emcee? What was the defining moment?
EN: Honestly, when I moved to New York, I couldn’t find a job, but people were always asking me to record or perform. I figured, that must be my job then.