A Talk with No God.
No God. is a 19 year old rapper from Ontario whose “sharp, honest, and vivid” sense of lyricism has garnered him attention within the hip hop underground. Earlier this year, he dropped the project NODUO in a collaboration with rapper Nonazz. As well as his work in NODUO, God is working to drop his solo debut Clouded with klwn cat later in 2023.
Before getting into his latest project, No God. spoke on how he met his partner-in-rhyme Nonazz. He said: “We originally found each other through Tiktok before I even started making music, back in 2020, because I thought Nazz was hilarious, also shared the name Noah, was from my city, and had good taste in music. I didn't even know he made music until I also found him on hip hop Twitter back in early 2021. We started linking up just to kick it; we would walk around downtown Toronto, go to record stores, and just talk about life and hip hop. Eventually, when I decided I was ready to start making my own music, I would take the train an hour west to record with him in his basement every once in a while. That's where we recorded ‘Crash’ and ‘Bottomless Pit’, on top of other tracks that will never see the light of day. Over time, we spontaneously decided it was time to make an album together and the name ‘NODUO’ just made sense.”
As well as rapping alongside No God., Nonazz produced the entirety of NODUO. God discussed the creative process behind the album: “The process when it came down to making the album went very smoothly for the most part. However, there were definitely creative differences we dealt with in the past. Nazz and I did not always see eye-to-eye as for a bit, since we didn't always understand where the other was coming from. This did lead to some dissatisfaction and frustration at times. However, the more time we spent together creating, the better our understanding of one another developed, until we came up with a process that works for the both of us. It's to the point now where we hardly disagree and are on the same wavelength when it comes to creative decisions for NODUO work. Working with Nazz always pushes me to rap at the highest level I can, since his ears for flows and rhyme schemes are absurdly hard to keep up with at times. Writing for this project made me pay much more attention to detail towards my rhymes, which paid off. We have a natural chemistry due to the polarity of our voices. His deep voice and smooth flows contrast perfectly with my higher-pitched delivery and sharper melodies.”
He went on: “I'm very proud of the final track, ‘Seabird’. Nazz sent me a demo of his verse while I was away at school, and I instantly knew it would be one of the best tracks either of us would make together. Nazz killed it - he flowed so effortlessly on there with some really personal lyrics, so I knew I had to bring my best. The verse I wrote is very personal, describing low points in my life through a loose narrative, while often referencing water in different ways. It took me about one hour to get the perfect take, which nearly drove Nazz insane. Very pleased with how the track turned out. Another cool story is that Sneaky Preacher wrote his verse for 'Scintillation' in ten minutes on the spot in Nazz's basement then recorded it, which I wasn't present for but is a great indication of his abilities. 'What Happened' was recorded last summer, before NODUO was even an idea. We thought what Gothic Delphine brought to that track would make for a perfect fit in the tracklist.”
Following the success of NODUO, No God. announced that the duo already had more material in the works. He touched on the new album from the duo: “It isn't quite a sequel (NODUO II will be a thing), however we're still in the process of writing for the follow-up album. This next one will be fully produced by our good friend Big Z, an MC/producer who's also from Toronto. The instrumentals he's sent us have been much more mysterious, grand, and cinematic than our self-titled album. Z has a great ear for making lushious, maximalist beats; he pieces together many samples to create compositions, cut from the cloth of producers like Exile and Nujabes while still remaining true to himself. This one will be longer, have more features, and further expand the sound and style of NODUO.”
Beyond NODUO, Nonazz has plans to drop his first solo album later this year, with beats handled entirely by rising underground producer klwn cat. He said: “The album is called Clouded, and we're currently aiming for an August 2023 release. The production has a very gloomy, bitter atmosphere, and shows a different side of klwn cat's production than what people are used to hearing from him. Expect my performances to be dynamic, and the writing to be potent and personal. That's all I can give away.
“I’ve had the majority of these beats since spring and summer 2022; klwn cat has been very patient with my process, more than he reasonably should be. We both started making music around the same time, and we had been friends since before then through hip hop Twitter. We both wanted to work together out of this friendship and mutual appreciation. klwn cat is definitely one of the most inventive producers I've ever heard – his ear for chops, loops, drums, and warm mixing make for some of the most moving beats you'll hear nowadays. Working with him is a great experience, as he often brings out the best of my pen and performances. His sound continues to grow and evolve, which is amazing to see as someone who's been listening to his music since the beginning.”
On top of his work alone and as part of NODUO, No God. is a member of the group Secret Scriptures alongside rappers Nonazz, Sneaky Preacher and Big Z. Although production has not begun, they have plans for a full project together. No God. spoke on how the group came to be:
“Around the time I began linking up with Nonazz musically, we also started linking up with a Twitter mutual of mine who goes by Sneaky Preacher. He had been rapping for some time along with some of his friends. The first time we all met up was at a proper studio, and I knew from that moment I wanted to work with both of them on a group project. Preacher's ear for unorthodox pockets really caught my ear, as well as a very refined delivery that reflects the unique personality of his writing. Once Preacher finds a certain pocket and goes downhill, he's a force to be reckoned with - 'Scintillation' and 'Bottomless Pit' are great examples of this. We eventually came up with the name Secret Scriptures, which is subsequently an adlib you'll always hear me use. We decided to add Big Z to the group earlier this year since he's been making music with Preacher since way back - they even have an album coming together as 'The Outdoorsmen' - and seemed like the perfect missing piece to the group.”
He added: “We haven't officially started working on the group album, as Preacher and Z are wrapping up their first album as The Outdoorsmen, and Nonazz and I are working on solo work plus NODUO. However, I've worked with all of them together before and we all bring different ideas and approaches to the table. I think this makes our dynamic very unique, since we can all add what we do best to the equation in a way that meshes everything together. This also allows us to experiment with sounds and song structures we normally wouldn't think of, since there are four of us rapping and two of us who make beats. We're planning to have a lot of variety on this first project. We might even surprise people with the styles we plan on delving into. We all share a strong love and passion for the music and history of the genre, so that's what we can always count on to bring the music together … It might be a while before the group album, however there will be plenty of music from each of us in the meantime. Nonazz has some collabs dropping soon; The Outdoorsmen debut album and lead singles are on the way; Sneaky Preacher is working on something; I have some drops planned; and there is plenty of NODUO music to come this year.”
Although there aren’t many concrete details on the Secret Scriptures album, No God. is certain that singer Gothic Delphine will make at least one appearance. He said: “She will likely be on most of our albums not only as a group and each of our solo endeavours, but within our NODUO and Outdoorsmen collabs as well. She's one of our favourite people to work with, as she always brings angelic vocals and a different vibe to our sound. Gothic Delphine is a singing talent that more people need to become aware of and hopefully pursue collaborations with. She's our cheat code feature.”
Besides the groups he is a part of, No God. is a key member of NOGODRECORDS which, despite its name, is a collective of artists and a support system rather than a label. The current roster consists of klwn cat, Nonazz, Matt Draugos, Ghstly, al., Thatguyjamari, Jordan Pryor, and PRNCE. No God. discussed the possibility of an album from the collective:
“Probably not, at least not in the near future. Everyone is doing their own thing, sometimes going in completely different directions, which is for the betterment of the music. At the end of the day, we're all homies so even if we're on different musical trajectories, the love will always be present. Everything will come together when it's meant to be.”
To finish off, No God. touched on the artists who drive him most to create. “As much as I am one of one, I wouldn't be the MC I am without the MCs and producers who inspire me to write, and how I write. Much love to my peers who inspire me to push my creative limits, especially klwn cat, Nonazz, and Matt Draugos. Shoutout to LUNAR, 2 Dolla Will, BlaQ Chidori and Jackie Scan for giving me a chance when I first started out and helping me find my footing as an artist. Keep an eye and ear out for all Secret Scriptures members' releases, including the debut album by The Outdoorsmen, and the next couple NODUO albums produced entirely by Big Z and Foule Monk, respectively. Be on the lookout for Clouded too. Keep streaming NODUO in the meantime! Lastly, big thank you to Evan for taking the time to speak to me.”
Find No God. here: