Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the original Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Searching across the city, it would be difficult to find a nicer and more down-to-Earth gentleman than Nosa Edebor. With a wide smile and an even wider heart, the rapper/bandleader/neighborhood activist can be found opening for national hip-hop acts under his MC name Nosaprise, and with his alt-rock band Screwtape.
He also takes every opportunity to provide his support for his friends, family, and community.
Who? "I am called 'Nosaprise" or simply 'Nosa,' and sometimes 'Yung Naija,'" he tells us with a laugh. "I just made that last one up, but I think I'ma keep it. I'm the son of immigrant parents, and grew up on the southwest side of Houston. I began playing in punk bands around the age of 14, then rapping around 16 years old.
"I've always liked to do a lot of different things, so I grew up on a mix of skateboarding, breakdancing, punk rock and hip-hop," Nosa adds.
Home Base: "I'm based in The Heights now, at least that's where I live," he says. "I prefer to keep my music and ideas close to home, but I perform all over. I have been fortunate enough to go on a couple of national tours, mostly through the Southwestern United States and up and down the West Coast."
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "I stay in Houston because this is my city," Nosa figures. "It has so much to offer as far as culture. You can find whatever it is that interests you in Houston. People are friendly, and the opportunity to collaborate with others is always available. And then there's the Mexican food, can't forget that!"
Good War Story: We will let Nosa continue here:
The worst show experience I've ever had wasn't actually at a show. I was on tour in California, and I was running late for sound check to the venue in Los Angeles.
I had to get dressed really quickly, so in a hurry, I pulled the car into the exit of a parking lot, not noticing the WARNING TIRE SPIKE sign. I blew out my front two tires with all of my gear in the car. Long story short, I eventually made it to the show, but I was really, really late and we lost some money getting the tires fixed to get back on the road.
Oh, and then I stepped in a pile of shit that a homeless person left on the sidewalk. Los Angeles is a dirty, dirty place.
Story continues on the next page.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "My main pet peeve is that people don't go to shows to see music as much [as] they go to see friends," he sighs. "People come to check out their friends' band, then dip. In many cases, the bands themselves play their set, then dip. They don't live the full experience.
"That's what I feel the difference is between a scene and a community," adds Nosa. "A scene is more about the 'I,' where a community is more about the 'Us.'"
Five Desert Island Records:
- Michael Jackson, Off the Wall
- Nas, Illmatic
- Stevie Wonder, Songs In the Key of Life
- Descendents, Everything Sucks
- Gorilla Biscuits, Start Today
Best Show Ever: "Music is my life," Nosa vows. "Playing the Wu-Tang show was great milestone. Atmosphere at Warehouse Live was my first BIG show, so that sticks out to me. Also playing a sold out show with The Pharcyde, with my brothers Screwtape and Elroy Boogie behind me, will always be a fond memory.
"Honestly, though, my best Houston show was at the White Swan on Navigation," he adds. "I was the only hip-hop act on the bill, but the energy of the show was just unmatched. Mosh pits, stage diving, people sweating, bleeding and loving music. I'll always remember that. Maybe it's the punk in me.
Nosa's second full-length album, entitled Hurrah!, is underway, a collaboration with Joey Flaco of Havikoro and Rebel Crew. Screwtape's first full-length album is coming soon as well. His next show is with a Rhymesayers Entertainment artist Blueprint, taking place May 20 at Dan Electro's in The Heights.
Also, all of us here at Rocks Off would like to congratulate Nosa on his upcoming wedding to his lovely fiancee, Susie. The couple has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help them with their AcroYoga training in Bali this summer. We wish you the best on the most important gig you will ever have: being a husband.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 200
Tony Vega, the Big Easy's Barnburner Leslie Krafka, Onward Through the Fog Michael Anthony Shanks, Houston's Merry Shankster DJ Baby Roo, Vegetarian Hip-Hop Veteran Rachel Bays, Filming Them Softly Punk-Rock "Newcomers" Screech of Death Erin Rodgers, the Keys to Glass the Sky Alex LaRotta, Crate-Digging Fistful of Soul Brother Alycia Miles, Triumphant Soul Singer DJ Piam, Poison Girl's Bacon-Fat Funk Specialist Mister Insane, Host of The Insane Show Jake Rawls -- Kemo For Emo Is Back Santos Pastrana, Sound Engineer and DJ Ninja Heading Upstream with RIVERS' Chris Tamez DJ Dayta, Keeper of That Good Good Matthew Davis Buehrer, Runaway Sun's Globally Thinking Bassist Fat Tony, Third Ward to "BKNY" Noon, Rapper With a Lot on His Mind Matt Cash, Clear Lake's Cassette Tape Wailer Jason Smith, Alkari's Space City Rocker DJ Penetrate, All Lit Up in "Neon Lights" Catch Fever Is Catching On Renée Jonard, Princess of Noise Pollution Junior Gordon, Big Man With a Big Sound Chad Smalley, Blaggards' Barse Player Damien Randle, K-OTIX Man of Action Kevin Anthony, 45 Southbound Man DJ Good Grief Knows How to Have Fun Robert Kuhn, the Well-Traveled Islander Gunnar Cushway, Insko's Feel-Good Utilityman Mario Rodriguez, Tax the Wolf/Bang Bangz's Wonky Power Monger John Smith, Goodtime Continental Club Manager Dwayne Cathey, A Good Man to Scare People With Walter Carlos, Guitar-Punisher of Funeral Horse Ryan James, Putting Up a Good Fight John Cramer, Guitar Apostle of Project Grimm Big Gerb, Houston's Hongree-est MC Steven Higginbotham, Hard-Working Wheel Worker Alisha Pattillo & Her Swaggering, Soulful Sax Brandon Ray, Punk Rocker Turned Filmmaker/Animator The Excitable Boys of Another Run Flash Gordon Parks, DJ as Funky Professor DJ Main Event, Kratez Crew JumpOff Man Odd Hours and Back to Back's Hank Doyle Legendary K-OTIX Producer Russel "The ARE" Gonzalez Dylan Bryson Sings the Blues (Rock) DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow Tom Lynch, New Kid On the Block Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy Joe Ortiz, Clockpole's Master of Nonsense Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
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