To evolve is to live in a constant state of learning, often chameleonic and with detours off the path you first set out to conquer. Emcee N.I.C.E., a veteran Hip Hop artist, producer, writer and all-around creative, has been climbing a long and winding ladder of musical leadership that’s included collaborations with rap icons NAS and 2Pac (posthumously), a song in the Academy Award-winning film “Crash,” and a cover of a Prince song, enthusiastically approved by The Artist himself. Yet all along, the impact N.I.C.E. has been grinding hardest to achieve is as a man with uplifting messages of love, optimism and Christian inspiration tailor made to change the lives of urban youth that need them the most. N.I.C.E.’s path has triumphantly led to the independent chart-topping success of his single “I Got Angels” and debut album on PRAISE – faith-fortified message music bonded with the street heat of urban pop’s hottest hits and, most importantly, powerful metaphorical lyrics kicked by a wise young brother who has lived, strived and studied that of which he speaks. Plus, as an author as well as co-creator of the urban animated series “Da Jammies,” the first black animated music series for kids on Netflix, N.I.C.E. knows no creative limits.
His name as a performer was originally Novelist. Today, his acronym N.I.C.E. stands for Novelist Is Constantly Evolving.
Emcee N.I.C.E. defines his 14-song album, as “a celebration of Christ with a blend of scripture and creative metaphors that give the listener spiritual food for thought.” The lead single, “I Got Angels,” soars on a sample of “Angels” by Gospel Hall of Famer Richard Smallwood who endorses N.I.C.E.’s song 100%, enthusing, “It will go places that I never could have envisioned…that’s just how God is.” Anchored by Sam Peezy’s Trap-inspired beat, N.I.C.E. kicks a bold opening statement, in a song assuring that no matter how hard the devil tries to sabotage us, angels keep us out of harm’s way.
As amazing as the song, are the ways N.I.C.E. was able to muscle market it to chart-topping Billboard sales and airplay charts as the #1 Top Gospel Albums, #1 Gospel Album Sales, #1 Hot Single Sales, and #1 Digital Song Sales,
and rise fast on fourteen other charts measuring independent albums, Christian songs, R&B/Hip Hop albums, and emerging and current artists, with independent ingenuity and digital, direct-to-consumer strategies. Cutting out the middle man, N.I.C.E. turned loose a digital street team that created an all-natural buzz – within online communities and among tastemakers – based solely on the music, sending his song to the top of the charts and bypassing streaming all the while stymieing the major label competition at large.
Another anomaly concerning N.I.C.E.’s PRAISE album is that he recorded all 14 songs (12 songs plus 2 remixes) in just two days, commanding the studio totally prepared and working diligently with music producers Sam Peezy, DJ Fat Jack, Richard Smallwood, Steven Ford and ULP Productionz, along with executive producers Frank DeRozan, Jack “De’Jon” Clark, BJ Luster and Tally. The January-slated second single, “Alright” (featuring guest singers Stripped & Rahkua) rolls on a replayed guitar rift lifted from jazz guitar giant Wes Montgomery and is all about giving God the glory as He cloaks us throughout these chaotic sociopolitical times. “Father, Father” (featuring Alonda Rich) is him telling his story, as he recalls the time he faced physical, mental and emotional adversities that almost caused him to lose sight of the power of God.