Jeff Vincent

Nathan Haskill, The Super Villain of Hip Hop?

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Nate Haskill. Photo by Ethan McDowell

Nate Haskill. Photo by Ethan McDowell

Like most kids in the 80s, Nathan Haskill spent a precious part of his childhood dreaming and scheming alongside the Real American Heroes of G.I. Joe, He-Man and the Masters of The Universe, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and Thundercats… As a Redondo Beach resident since the age of ten, the 33-year-old also grew up in a beach area whose musical foundations were built upon punk and reggae. But that didn’t phase him. As it happened, it was also during the explosive era when rap music and hip hop would assert itself into popular culture. Once the blue-eyed, red-bearded Italian-Norwegian with a curly brown afro heard Run D.M.C., it was all over. But not for Skeletor…

Haskill’s inner flame never wavered from hip hop, and in years to come his passion would give way from just listening to the music to actually crafting his own. Neither did his inner child ever waver from Cobra Commander and co. The MC’s original lyrics often reference, sample, or weave inference around the cartoon and comic book characters of his youth. The title of his next and third full-length album, dropping Aug. 20, is “What If The Villains Won?”

He explains, “I was all about the villains as a kid… Skeletor… Cobra Commander… Mumm-Ra… Master Shredder… Megatron… I always rooted for the bad guys, because I’m always an underdog – I’m a Clippers fan for Christ’s sake… I always wondered, what if they won? What if one time they actually won? But if you peel that banana a little bit, though; I call myself a super villain of hip hop. Because consumers have made today’s popular rap artist heroes; and if they’re the heroes, I wanna be the villain. If driving Maybachs and havin’ big chains and poppin’ bottles in the club and driving airplanes, and that’s what everybody has made into the good thing, into the good guy, that’s what everybody wants to be, that’s what everybody gets shoved in their face – I don’t wanna be that, if that’s your hero. If that’s hip hop’s hero, then I wanna be hip hop’s villain.”

Nathan Haskill performs Saint Rocke this Sunday, August 4, at & Forever Festival Presents: Reason (South Africa’s top rap artist), with Fico, Walt Grizzly, and Nathan Haskill. The 7 p.m. show is free. Full story on Haskill coming with album release. 

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