Dec. 22 2010 12:00 AM

Local rapper steps away from hip-hop clichés

The longest running hip-hop showcase in Lansing, The Mic Club, is celebrating its three-year anniversary Dec. 30 at Level II.

The Mic Club was originated by SinCere, a local rapper who has been host to over 200 area lyricists. One of those performers is Reynaldo Gonzalez, a.k.a. Nasty Nyne, a Lansing rapper and producer who is booked for the anniversary show.

After first hearing rappers like LL Cool J and Tone Loc back in the late 1980s, Gonzalez never looked back. By 1999 he began rapping and free styling as more than a hobby.

In 2005 he decided to start composing and producing his own beats. Taking mental notes on a variety of hip-hop heavyweights such as Pete Rock, Timbaland, the Neptunes and DJ Premiere, Gonzalez began to develop his own style. Over the past few years he has released three mix tapes and two albums, “Digital Dope” and “Higher Learning.”

“I started making my own beats because I got jerked around by other producers” Gonzalez explained. “I started producing myself in 2005, and within three months I was already selling beats. I started out sampling, but now I make my own beats."

Gonzalez, who has also produced tracks for local rapper P2dahi, said it can be tough making time for music, but his lyrics and production are constantly evolving.

“I’ve been balancing college with music, and school has been crazy. It’s a great experience, though,” he said. “I think I’ve grown up a lot as far as lyrics and content goes. I’m more comfortable with myself more than ever."

Along with musical maturity, Gonzalez realized he wasn’t interested in rehashing hip-hop clichés.

“I’m attempting to show that hip hop can be more than just the regular tough talk and drug dealing, the violent music people perceive it as,” he said.

“I think I’m pushing more towards reality and what a lot of people go through — you know, college, partying, studying — just balancing adult life while growing into who we are to become.”

Aside from Nasty Nyne, a cast of other locals will take the stage at the Mic Club show, including Big Perm, WardSkillz, Cho City, MOE, Lavish, Dutch (MGG), SINcere, Mid Mobb Section, B.G.C./Made Life, Wave Gang, A.M.M., Nasty Nyne Syncere, CONN Click, Ill Nana, J Tizzle, DJ Enyce, DJ Butcher and the No End Records crew.

Third Annual Mic Club Pre-New Year’s Eve Bash

9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30 Level II, 6810 S. Cedar, Lansing $8, 18 and up To listen to Nasty Nyne, visit