“You Jolly Ranchers need flavor.
–Mellah Nix”

It’s bigger than music for ATL rapper Mellah Nix; music is only one manifestation of his creative drive. A mixed-media artist, he was an active resident artist at Art Studio Miami for five years — on top of pursuing a rap career. True, like most artists, he’s seen his share of lows. His mother was tragically murdered by his stepfather when he was seven, forcing him and his siblings to grow up with their grandparents in Chicago. He overcame, though, and — at points — that hunger and sheer appreciation of the things that matter most to him, arts and expression, spill over into his music.

He is riding what he describes as a ‘Nerd L1fe’ movement. This concept is loosely ingrained in his latest offering, STRIPPAZNSK8BOARDZ, a six-song EP full of personality — for lack of a better description. He touches upon a few things on this project; the biggest takeaway we could find was his hunger and passion for his art. On the song “$7.40,” he talks about the minimum-wage restaurant grind, nothing that he’s “rapping to get out of this.” On “Drive,” he takes aim of human obstacles who think they — even momentarily — have a chance of derailing his efforts to achieve the goals he’s set his sights on. “Hard Work” is another more insightful piece that salutes the hardworking single women who seemingly share his work ethic and dedication to the ‘getting it done with a smile’ attitude that seems to have taken him this far. Production wise, it’s quite cohesive, opting for a trap-ish club sound that feels quite familiar in today’s landscape; though he does manage to make it his own, unlike many of the artists that pass through our inbox.

His mother once told him “your world is your own, let people see what you see.” Indeed, Mellah Nix has manifested that mantra in everything he seems to be doing. While there are some more bland tracks, like “My Ninja” and “Green Hyen8,” which seem a bit more like filler than he likely intentioned them to be, this project is a fresh blend of his unique personality and topic range — with contemporary production. It would be interesting to hear him explore beats that step outside the obvious comfort zone; however, STRIPPAZNSK8BOARDZ is a solid offering worth giving a spin.