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Photo: Jake Hill

Take a Stroll With Rapper The.Naaman


by Nilufer Arsala 1 Oct 2020 6:00 AM

Art&Seek is highlighting new music from North Texas every Thursday. Click above to hear me talk with Fort Worth rapper The.Naaman for our new Music Minute, which airs on KERA FM and KXT 91.7. For more local music, tune in to the KXT Local Show at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. And tell us what you’ve been listening to on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter.

The.Naaman. Photo: Jake Hill

Naaman Rodges is not your typical rapper. Although he has been interested in music his whole life, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago- when he was in his 40s- that he started to release music as The.Naaman. Since then, he has released numerous singles, performed at South by Southwest, and was nominated for Best Hip Hop by the Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards in 2018.

“Sometimes it just takes a little while to incubate things properly, I guess,” Rodges said.

The.Naaman. Photo: Walt Burns

His debut album, The Albatross,  is the product of that incubation. It comes out Friday on digital platforms and on a few cassette tapes. The Albatross is a concept album loosely based on the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It follows The.Naaman through love, heartbreak, loss and recovery.

“I shot myself in the foot with a relationship and I wrecked something that was really dear to me that was guiding me,” Rodges said. “And that’s sort of what the whole album is about.”

The debut single off the album is called “The Stroll.” The last song on the album, it is the end of our hero’s story. (Warning: the song below contains explicit language.)

“’The Stroll’ is the pinnacle of everything I go through on The Albatross,” Rodges said.  “You’re trying to figure out where your home is, now that things have been broken apart. It’s sort of the coming together and realizing that I’m going to be OK. Life still goes on.”

And it does. In addition to focusing on his first album release, The.Naaman released a song in response to the George Floyd protests called “White Silence”. The song is about Rodges coming to grips with his own white privilege.

The.Naaman. Photo: Walt Burns

“We’re all stuck in this middle ground where we need to have these uncomfortable discussions because for the most part everyone isn’t racist, but there’s definitely ways that we [white people] benefit from institutionalized racism that we have to confront and destroy,” Rodges said.

The.Naaman plans an album release show when venues start booking again, but in the meantime you can follow his journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify.

Got a tip? Email Nilufer Arsala at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @nillipxi53.

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