Whether it’s been his classic radio appearances, legendary clashes with arch nemesis Craig G, or how he incorporates the crowd into his stage show, Supernatural has more than left his mark on the hiphop world. Following a dream to move the crowd, Supernat left Indiana in the early 80’s to live with cousins in Long Island. In the years to come his affinity for unscripted verses would lead to recognition as one of the most talented freestyle MCs on the planet. For many of us that would be enough, but for Nat it’s only the beginning.
“I haven’t even reached my highest point yet, “claims Supernat. “I’m striving for that everyday, [and] everyday I get closer.”
He takes another step towards that plateau with the release of the “Lost Freestyle Files” LP series off of Babygrande Records. “The Lost Files” showcases some of Nat’s finest moments, including his debuts on both the Wake Up Show and Stretch and Bobbito. While those performances are impressive, the highlights of the LP come when he goes head to head with one of his rivals, such as the recent clash with fellow freestyle alum and frequent Wake Up Show guest Juice.
“They [Sway and Tek of The Wake Up Show] called me one day and asked if I would battle Juice,” Nat remembers. “They said people on their show had been talking it up and saying they would like to see me and Juice battle and that’s where it started from. Before the battle I had only heard Juice on a mixtape that was floating around.”
Nat accepted the challenge, setting the stage for one of the most hyped events in the past few years. Being a veteran of these contests he knew preparation was the key to victory. Nat searched for any strengths or weaknesses that could help him, researching his foe and picking up whatever music Juice had released. On top of that he practiced a little verbal shadowboxing in an effort to stay sharp.
“As far as preparation I rhymed everyday as if I was battling him,” Nat revealed. I didn’t sit down and write rhymes about Juice or anything like that, [but] I knew what I was gonna do when I got there and I knew how to try to hold my ground and not be humiliated and not let the crowd take you out of your element. It’s a lot of shit going on onstage that people take for granted. You’re putting not only your career, but [also] your manhood on the line and allowing another man to humiliate you. And if it gets to the point where he is getting the best of you what do you do? So you have to be prepared, to a certain extent, to win or lose.”
Fortunately there was no confusion about the victor, as all nine judges awarded Supernat every round and a check for $5000. Not bad for one night’s work, but don’t expect Nat to be battling anytime soon.
“What else can I get out of it besides being able to walk around and say I served that cat?” expressed Nat. “At the same time I use it to defend myself too. I ain’t nobody’s punk. You come up and try to shit on me on the mic then of course I’m gonna be forced to do what I gotta do. [But] at this point right now I want to make music, that’s my whole focus.”
That focus is evident on “The Lost Freestyle Files” as half of the LP contains new solo tracks and collaborations with some of the underground’s finest emcees. The LP actually acts as a segue between the freestyle focused portion of his career and the concentrated effort on his part to be successful releasing records.
“The first three albums I did most of the songs are off the dome,” Nat divulged. “I could easily go into the studio and do a freestyle album, I’m just trying to give people a clean body of work so they can finally say he can color in between the lines. I’m so unorthodox with what I do people get it confused and say all he can do is freestyle. I enjoy making songs too, I’m not just a freestyle artist.”
Aside from the “Lost Freestyle Files” series and the yet untitled album dropping next year, Nat is keeping busy. Midway Games has enlisted his services as the announcer on the upcoming video game “NBA Ballers,” premiering in mid 2003. He is also currently co-designing Pro Keds for a signature series of throwback sneakers, and this summer he’s donating his time to work with a youth group in Long Island conducting workshops on the fundamentals of emceeing and freestyle. So much for being one-dimensional.
Pick up the “Lost Freestyle Files” in stores now.