Neph has an interesting way of talking.
Of course, the 25-year-old rapper's way with words on stage is his professional life, but he has a staccato way of speaking in general conversation that makes you immediately recognize his vocation.
Despite his age, Neph has already been developing his career for a decade.
Pedigree is part of the equation. Neph is the nephew of Prevail of Juno winners Swollen Members and a member of Battle Axe Warriors. By the way, Neph stands for Nefarious One, not family affiliation.
Having his uncle in the biz must have been a draw.
"It was, it was. But it was also a deterrent. I was always involved with Battle Axe Warriors and Swollen Members growing up. I've been to more Swollen shows growing up than I could put a number to. I saw every step of the way," Neph says.
"I've been into hip hop my whole life. People used to always ask me, 'Are you rapping?' And I used to tell them 'no', because it was my uncle's thing. It came to the point where I started writing my own work in my off time and I began to dabble in it and it was a lot of fun. I couldn't stop doing it and eventually I had to come out of the box and tell people.
"Don't get me wrong, (Swollen Members) changed Canadian hip hop but it's big shoes to fill."
Currently Neph -- along with Prada West of Stompdown Killaz, B.C. rap group Indelible, and J. Dohe – have teamed up with Kyprios of Sweatshop Union and Prevail for the West Coast Renaissance Tour.
"It's going well. It's a building performance time for everyone on the tour. It went well in Alberta, we had good turnouts. People had good responses and liked what we were bringing," Neph says, giving a shout out to his favourite town on the tour.
"Medicine Hat was an excellent show. I'd never been there before. An awesome response to us."
The tour comes to Moe Joe's in Whistler Village on Tuesday, Nov. 25.
As well, Neph and Prevail have created a project together called Alpha Omega.
"Alpha Omega is the first group project that I've actually done, so it's very different for me but I am super excited," Neph says.
"It by no means replaces Swollen Members, which is going to be pinnacle until forever. But to get more content out... we just want to keep the movement going and it's just another avenue."
Neph is debuting a few Alpha Omega tracks during the current tour but Alpha Omega won't hit the road until March. The first album is due for release by then.
"It's prelaunch launch, sort of building up the buzz so when it is time to tour people know a couple of our tracks and we'll have a video out by then," Neph says.
And in the meantime, those wondering about the collaboration can listen to a song called Viceroy from Neph's EP Black Box. Prevail guests on the track.
"We both wrote our own verses and read our own lyrics. We went to the studio and sat down. I had the beat already and as soon as I played it for Prev, he loved it, jumped on it and we didn't even come up with a concept. We just started writing about what was going on at the time."
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