Detroit’s hip-hop scene has a storied history and a bright future, and Nametag has one foot in each place. His career origins include records alongside hometown legends like Slum Village, while his solo efforts have earned him a rep around the country as one of the city’s brightest young voices. And after calling various areas of Detroit home, he’s the perfect storyteller to narrate the city’s ins and outs.
Nametag got involved in Detroit’s hip-hop history early, and in a big way: his first placement was on Slum Village’s compilation “Dirty District Vol. 1.” From there, he continued to body other appearances on Motor City classics such as “Dirty District Vol. 2, and Black Milk’s “Popular Demand” and “Caltroit.” But while contributing to others’ projects, Nametag continued to build his own footing with a collection of criticallyacclaimed mixtapes, EPs and a full length album, ‘The Name Is Tag.’ He eventually earned the respect of indie rap heavyweights and publications such as XXL, 2DopeBoyz, Detroit Free Press and more.
Nameless is from Flint, Michigan, but his gritty soul and relentless work ethic are reminiscent of the legendary hip-hop producers from Detroit. Since grabbing his hands on a friend’s software and beat machine in 2002, he aspired to flip samples as craftily as idols such as J Dilla, Madlib, MF DOOM and others. He began plugging away on the lab, steadily creating sets of instrumental projects and using a knack for graphic design to craft head-turning album art. He eventually added “Feel It,” a single from Detroit staple Marv Won’s album ‘Wayne Fontes Music.’
Since then, Nameless’ ability to morph dusty soul records into headphone-blaring bangers has turned him into one of the most prolific, sought-after young producers in the state. He now has nearly a dozen solo instrumental and compilation albums, and his ‘Flidelphia’ LP with Ron Dance placed his production behind Dwele, Paradime and others. His upcoming line-up includes full-length records with Clear Soul Forces, DJ House Shoes, MarvWon & Vandalyzm, and more.
The two artists teamed up based on the similarity of their monikers, and quickly created “Blaow!” and “Raw Dirty Filth,” the latter landing on DJ Premier’s satellite radio station. With the rest of their collaborative debut, ‘For Namesake,’ ‘Tag take his biggest step yet toward living up to his hometown’s legacy. He uses his candid, clever rhymes to address a fickle music industry, shady women, the resilience of his family, and employ old-fashioned shit talking, while Nameless’ melodic grit pays homage to Motown’s past. With appearances by Motor City vets (Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Miz Korona) and youngsters (Mahd, Jahshua Smith) alike, ‘For Namesake’ continues to cement Nametag as one of Detroit’s rising talents.