The Daily Reflector, Mixer Magazine Greenville, NC
February 28, 2011
Jon Notty says battle rapping has perfected his craft... At first, when you meet Jon Notty, you can tell he's been working in hip-hop for years.His hair is in dreads and his teeth in gold, and he's promoting the first single off his latest EP, "Carolina Bar-B-Que," a song about North Carolina girls with lyrics overlapping a quick-tempo piano melody and a hip hop beat.But Jon Notty isn't like some other rappers. He's an articulate, almost overly polite product of the South with decades of life experience behind him."My skill is seasoned," he said during a recent interview. "I'm a little older, so I've had time to make a lot of mistakes and really perfect my craft. I had a lot of time to get it right and say exactly what I want to say. And I started out as a battle rapper. So I wasn't making songs; I was standing out in front of the store trying to battle anyone who thought they could rap. That got me kind of sharp. And a battle rapper, you got to know what you can to say to the crowd, so all of that practice really made it pretty good. I ain't going to say it's perfect yet - I'm still working - but I've been at work for a long time."Born in Goldsboro as Durrell Peele, Notty studied English at North Carolina Central University in Durham. Around that time, in 1999, he also started getting serious about music."I just entered an emcee battle in Philadelphia and I was actually first runner-up," he said. "So I came really close to winning. I was like, 'This is probably what I need to do.' I was in school at the time, so I was in it (the music scene) then I was out of it, then I was not serious and not sure if that's what I wanted to do."By 2004, he moved to Greenville and found himself ready to start a family and settle down. It was his wife, with whom he just celebrated his one-year anniversary, who encouraged him to get back into music."She was like, 'Give it one more shot; one more shot. You're pretty good,'" he recalled."So this is like the last hoorah," he said. "And it's really taken off. We have a good solid foundation I got good management (Mid Atlantic, Virginia, Recordings & Entertainment) and it's really taking off. We're getting a lot of positive responses."Now 36 years old, Notty is also celebrating a year back with Fred Andrews of Mid Atlantic. Andrews had produced Notty's very first record, but they lost touch until Andrews started hearing about Notty's reemergence into the hip hop scene."So we just hooked back up after about a 10 year split," Notty said.All together, since 1999 Notty's had six releases, with "Back2Bed" (released Feb. 22 on sites like iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody) being his first EP. The LP is to follow later this year. His latest mixtape "Everybody Hates Jon Notty" dropped on Dec. 14 and can be downloaded at www.coast2coastmixtapes.com. "Carolina Bar-B-Que," featuring vocals by Winston-Salem artist Miss E'Wreck, hit iTunes on Jan. 25.Notty says he's also been working with "the best DJ on the east coast," DJ Will and, more recently, Duncan Hines, The Carolina Promoter.But in order to stand out among other local hip-hop artists, Notty focuses on his lyrical content."Because everybody ain't got it," he said. "Not everybody is lyrical. My lyrical content, my hip hop beats - I try to develop my own sound where you can be like 'Hey, that's Notty right there.' But I'm from North Carolina. There's a lot of artists coming out of North Carolina but I want to be that different one."Find out more about Jon Notty at www.reverbnation.com/jonnotty or www.facebook.com/jon.notty.
Contact Kristin Day at firstname.lastname@example.org or 329-9579.2011 Cooke Communications LLC - The Daily Reflector Record Number: 0311mJonNotty