I caught Vallejo rapper, Nef The Pharoah last week during his Changuary Tour stop at the Catalyst. We talked about his extensive amount of vlogging done in high school, Nardwaur, and alcohols endorsed by other rap artists. Enjoy that and peep concert review below written by staff member, Riz Aliga.
Riz gettin’ hyphy
By the age of four, Tonee Hayes aka Nef the Pharaoh began developing his own rap style in his hometown Vallejo – the famous hotbed of hip-hop for the Bay Area producing stars such as Mac Dre and E-40. His rapping career dates back to his entry of a talent contest, which he won and led to his feature on the cover of the Vallejo Times-Herald. He was given the nickname Nef (short for nephew) from his uncle, which he incorporated into part of his stage name. After the passing of his grandmother in 2009, he stepped away from music. However, he soon began using music as a form of therapy. He then moved to the Sacramento, CA and attended Inderkum High School in Natomas, CA.
In January 2015, he released his hit song “Big Tymin,’” which put him on the Bay Area radar. The song was then remixed later that year by the LA rappers, YG, and Ty Dolla Sign. After receiving recognition by Bay Area’s site Thizzler On The Roof and recognition by Drake and Kendrick Lamar (noisey), while working with artists such as: The HBK Gang, Willie Joe, Mozzy, Eric Bellinger, D.R.A.M., Snoop Dogg, and E-40, he signed with Vallejo’s own, E-40’s Sick Wid It Records and many of his songs were on the radio waves after that. After going on tour around the world with G-Eazy and around California with The HBK Gang, Nef’s group #KILFMB (Keep it Lit For My Brothers) decided that Nef needed his own headlining tour. The tour was introduced as “Fresh Out of Space” in late 2016. Nef opened a lot of Baydrestians’ eyes because of who he worked with and because his music is just down right too damn hyphy.
During his stop in Santa Cruz for the Changuary Tour, he had VernDuzit, Kay Bellz, and DAGHE open up. With my hyphyness, knowing and screaming all the Bay Area songs being played, I was fortunate to personally get pulled on stage to hype up the crowd to HBK Gang’s Kool John and P-Lo’s “B*tch I Look Good” played by DAGHE. Nef then opened up to “Dumb Life” off of “Fresh Out of Space 3.” He was able to keep the energy of the crowd throughout the show by performing songs such as: “Mobbin,” “707,” “Say Daat” “Lauryn Hill,” and my favorites “Old School Hyphy” and “Everything Big.” During his performance someone offered him to smoke a swisher, but if you really listen to Mac Dre and Nef, everyone knows “if it ain’t a backwood, it ain’t all that good.” He closed out the show performing “Big Tymin” and I joined Nef going dumb on stage when the DJ played Vallejo’s own Mac Dre’s classic song “Get Stupid.” Nef is only going up, making connections, as he has inspired artists all over the Bay Area to hop on his style of music, such as an upcoming group from Vallejo SOBxRBE (Strictly Only Brothers, Real Boi Entertainment) who has been putting up big numbers on the internet. They will be touring with HBK Gang representative and platinum selling artist Sage The Gemini for the “West For Winter” Tour and will finish in Santa Cruz (I strongly recommend that if you are in the area, you should attend this concert. I know of SlimmyB of SOBxRBE and they are LIT live).