Rapper Nardo Says, a Virginia native who moved to Pittsburgh a in recent years, has always been a curious and creative person. This is evident in his first experience with a rap tape.


“My aunt, she used to give me Fat Boy Tapes. I would try and play the Fat Boys tape on my Teddy Ruxpin, you know, back in the 80’s, I had a Teddy Ruxpin. I’m thinking ‘Well, maybe if I play this Fat Boys tape, maybe his mouth will move!’ So, of course it didn’t work! But, from Fat Boys, it came to LL Cool J. As I got older, I fell in love with Tribe Called Quest. I found them and Native Tongue and all that in my teenage years going into my adult years.”


Nardo got his musical start young in life in his community’s church choir, where he also learned the drums. On his latest album Y.S.D.M., he writes about something he’s lived with since he was young – his stutter.


“I always wanted to write a song about it because I felt like no one ever talked about it- especially in a rap song. A lot of people also have struggles with speech and this is something I’ve been dealing with ever since I was a kid. It helped shape who I am. As an adult, I embrace it. I think a lot of people don’t understand the other side. It’s easy to laugh and make fun of. But I don’t think people understand how difficult that is. I think people take for granted the basic function of talking and communicating.”


Nardo Says’ song “Well Did I Stutter” is out now on his new album Y.S.D.M. Info at his website.

Photos by Annie Brewer