New Orleans is a breeding ground for music. For hip-hop trio N.O.4, it would be where they would find each other, find their sound, survive a storm and decide to put their entire city on their back. We decided to sit down with the newest signees to Invictus Records and let them introduce themselves.
How did N.O.4 get together?
Pookie: Basically me and Lil Brotha (who is actually my little brother) were moving through the streets of New Orleans going to various talent shows and concerts and we ran in to D Smooth. Once we heard his talent, we knew we had to work together.
D Smooth: We started going to Pookie’s house and began to work on perfecting our craft as a group. Our first performance at a family function and from there N.O.4 was born
What brought you together musically?
Pookie: What made me realize that we fit was how our personalities fit when we rapped. We had fun, and we didn’t take everything so seriously.
D Smooth: I knew we fit when every one we got in front of we ripped it. Every show we got, we ripped it. It didn’t matter who was there we ripped it and got great feedback back from everyone.
Lil Brotha: I knew this was right when we got positive feedback from the people.
Did you always know that musically you would make it?
D Smooth: (laughs) This is not a cocky answer but I always knew we would make it. I knew that if we ever got in front of the right person, we would be good. I didn’t know when it would happen, but I always knew if we got there we would make.
Lil Brotha: Yes, indeed. I always knew.
Pookie: I knew we could based on what people were telling us. We were always told that we were talented, and we were different . We knew a lot of people wanted to invest in us but they didn’t have the money. All we needed was someone who wanted to give us a shot and could afford to.
You are survivors of Katrina. How did it affect you musically and as a group?
Pookie: It definitely affected us musically because we had to split up. Me and Lil Brotha went to Houston and D Smooth went to Atlanta. By us being separated we could not rehearse but we had to focus on coming together. We found ways to keep it going D Smooth came to Houston when he could and we worked individually. We kind of had to decide if it was good or bad and move forward because we were in Houston. It was bad because were split up and could not work like they wanted to, but it was also good because we met people we met people learned more of the business and learned more than we would have learned if we had just stayed in New Orleans.
D Smooth: When Katrina hit, I was hit. I had to go to Atlanta. Shout out to the A, they treated me good and held it down. I could not let it stop us though. I caught the Greyhound to Houston and got rental cars. We did whatever we had to do to keep it moving and keep going forward
Lil Brotha: It was a blessing in disguise. We got to reach different avenues in different cities and states and let them know who N.O.4 is, what we were and get our name out there.
You have DMX on your single “Tell Ya Friends”-how did that come about? How was it working with him?
Pookie: To be honest, it was blessing to work with him. We didn’t realize he was coming to the studio. He just popped up. He listened to the record and he liked the vibe and hopped on it. Working with him was a beautiful thing because I learned a lot.
D Smooth: It was real hot! X walking in like it was nothing and he peeped vibe. I took that opportunity to learn from him. When he was in the booth, I watched him doing this thing and he dropped knowledge on a brother. I learned a lot
Lil Brotha: Shout out to the Invictus producer who set it up. DMX had a lot of energy and I love his work ethic
How would you describe the N.O.4 sound?
Pookie: It is very unique. We bridge across various age groups. We catch the ear of younger folks, older folks and every one in between. Our music brings everyone together.
D Smooth: Our sound, it’s us. It has a down south, New Orleans flavor. It’s like a big pot of gumbo with everything in it. You cannot deny it.
Lil Brotha: Our music sounds like southern hospitality. It sounds like that New Orleans cuisine.
Tell our readers what they can expect on your debut album” The Beginning”
D Smooth: They can expect the real N.O.4. Our real feelings, our time, our energy. You are really getting us. Nothing fake or sugar-coated, just N.O. 4.
Pookie: Adding to what D Smooth said, it has been a real blessing to give the world N.O.4. We have heard several artists who say they can’t do them, or do what they wanted, so we have been really blessed to give out fans who we are.
Lil Brotha: They can expect to know us. They can expect to get an insight to who we are, which is all we want.
What are some key tracks on “The Beginning” that you think fans will love?”
Lil Brotha: Our single, “Tell Ya Friends,” it’s a club banger, it’s also very chill.
D Smooth: I think they will love “Its The Music, ” it’s a feel good record and “Walk With It” is a club banger that will make you dance.
Pookie: Me personally, I love “Man Like Me” because it is showing the ladies what kind of man they need in this life and it is a smooth record.
What’s next for N.O.4? Shows? A tour?
D Smooth: We have Mayfest in Augusta, GA on May 19th. And we have been added to Dubb Car Show tour. The first date is May 20th and we hit Dallas, LA, Phoenix and a few other cities, so look out for us.