NASAAN, son of the legendary D12 rapper Proof, is carving his own lane in the music industry. He joins Genius’ Verified to dissect his song “GOATED” from the recent project “ERROR 404”. NASAAN delves into his creative process, inspirations, and more.

The young rapper acknowledges his father’s influence but is determined to make his own mark. He raps about living up to Proof’s legacy but doing it on his own terms, even calling it “corny” to rely solely on his father’s fame.

My dad was Big Proof from D12. I know my dad is looking down at me like, super proud, smiling happily. I’m fully confident in the idea that I won’t let him down. He rolled out the red carpet all I had to do was lay it up. But I feel like right now I’m 360 windmill backflip dunking that bitch.

Apparently, Royce 5’9 was not NASAAN’s first choice for the track. However, upon reflection, NASAAN decided he needed somebody to represent his Detroit roots on the song.

For the intro, I wanted DJ Drama on it originally. But then I started looking at the project in the whole and I felt like I needed to represent my Atlanta roots and my Detroit roots. So, I was like, yo, Royce, can you talk on the intro instead? He sent it back to me, and he was rapping on it! He went crazy. So, shout out to Royce!

The line “I remind myself I’m God” isn’t meant literally, explains the artist. It’s about recognising his inner potential and believing in himself.

When I wrote the line “I remind myself I’m God”, it was more so of me saying there’s God within me vs I am the actual higher being deity. Obviously, there’s one above us, but God is really within us. I believe that.

NASAAN firmly stands behind his Dragon Ball Z references. Yes, he is a die-hard fan.

Dragon Ball Z is the greatest shit invented. That’s terrible, but Dragon Ball Z is my everything. Give me Dragon Ball Z, whatever. I could trade you a million dollars for a Dragon Ball Z toy, and I feel like it’ll be justified. I love Dragon Ball Z that much.

He credits Young Thug with influencing his creative lyricism and highlights how Thug uses unconventional metaphors to get his point across.

For the Roku line… I write like that because of Thug. He’ll find the most interesting way to say what he’s trying to say without saying it. “I ain’t got AIDS, but I swear to God I’m a bleed”. That’s him saying he’s a blood in the weirdest way ever.

NASAAN’s complicated relationship with his late father’s memory seriously informed his thoughts about his own place in the game. He initially distanced himself from his father’s legacy but now embraces it, emphasising the importance of the black community and solidarity. He respects other rapper kids who are making their own names.

I think being a rapper kid is just corny. For a long time, I would try to hide the two things. But whatever with the corny, that’s some little kid shit. It’s more about the Black community and standing together. Being super independent is cool, but being like, yo, no, fuck that man, I got to get it myself. Man, I don’t want nobody notice my dad. I think that that’s cornier. And there is exceptions to that, like, rapper kids being corny. I love Coi Leray, she’s super fire.

The song’s title reflects NASAAN’s belief in his own greatness and preordained path to success.

GOATED to me is, like, chosen, it’s destined. That’s why I got this tattoo across my face. It says “Destined”. The Chosen One. I can’t explain it. It’s an aura, you just got to have it.

Later, NASAAN names Kendrick Lamar as his major influence, praising his lyrical techniques and storytelling.

Kendrick is my all-time favourite rapper. Bringing back the guideline, Kendrick finds ways to repeat things and insert them back in the songs in particular pockets. That was my way of doing that. I’m a super big rap nerd rap fan.

The interview ends with a lighter note, with NASAAN revealing his Top 3 pet peeves:

Top three things that disgust me? Number one, people flex around on IG. Why are you doing that? It’s not even that serious. Two, bad breath. Nasty. Number three, pork everything. It’s just, blaaargh! Pork everything.

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