COMEDIAN'S SON HITS HIP-HOP SCENE:
By LEE UMBERS - Sunday News
NEW Zealand's latest rap sensation is delivering a King hit on the music scene.
Derty Sesh – aka Nathan King, son of entertainer Mike King – releases his debut album, Sic Love, tomorrow.
But the 23-year-old is already being labelled the brightest new star on the local hip-hop scene.
And the video for his second single, Forever – inspired by the Saw horror films – is attracting reaction from critical praise to disgust.
In the video, a hooded Nathan is shown repeatedly stabbing a bound and gagged young woman he has lured to his shack after killing her boyfriend at a woodlands picnic ground.
An unrepentant Nathan told Sunday News "the whole point" of the video was to cause controversy.
"My whole thing is to push the limit. We got one person who wrote ... saying it's really disgusting, and he was quoting [the song's] lyrics. Then at the end, he was like, `But then again it's not a bad video, I would watch it'," Nathan said.
"People in the hip-hop community [are saying] this is the best New Zealand hip-hop video to date."
The "horror movie with music" theme will continue with the 13-track Sic Love.
"It's not `wow' when someone does it in rock `n' roll or metal, because they do a lot of dark stuff. But to do that with hip-hop music and still make it sound commercial enough to be put on radio as well, I think that's awesome. That's what I've pretty much done with this album. It's pretty much a hip-hop rock opera show."
Nathan's cocky confidence – he swaggeringly announces "I'm the new kid ... best in the world" on first single Really Don't Care – and raw lyrics aren't surprising given his comedian father's at-times edgy stage shows.
His musical ability is self taught, his days at Auckland's Western Springs College and Mt Albert Grammar consumed by "beatboxing or making a rap or writing a song in my head". He came up with the stage name Derty Sesh in the third form.
Nathan said his relationship with his often-busy father has "never been huggy-huggy, lovey-lovey, how you see it on the movies".
"I was never the kid to go around like `Hey that's my dad'. I hated that," he said.
"When people would come over and do photos for ... a woman's magazine, I would always try to stay out of the photo if I could. I'd rather be noticed for `Hey that's Nathan' ... not `that's Mike's son'.
"Some people would be like, `It must be so awesome to have him as a dad, you must have so much money', and that wasn't the case. He had more money than an average job but it wasn't like we were millionaires with Ferraris."
Dropping out of school in the fifth form "to be a rapper", Nathan did a three-month music industry course with Dawn Raid Entertainment and stayed out in south Auckland for a while to taste life in a different 'hood.
To fund his impending career, he flew to Perth and worked for a year in the mines at $1200-1500 Australian a week.
"I saved up a lot and brought all the equipment I now have – microphones, pop filters, speakers, PCs and everything."
He wrote and produced Really Don't Care and cut a video of the single with a film crew of mates to get his name out.
The result was his being signed to the Move The Crowd Records (MTC) in January. So impressed was the label, it remixed Really Don't Care – backing Nathan up with two of its biggest acts, Young Sid and Ethical.
A national tour with band Smashproof followed – and a taste of what being up on the big stage can offer.
"I was excited just to get my music out to other people. But what did I get in return. I just got a lot of women," Nathan joked.
"I get a lot of friend requests on Facebook from women now. It's pretty funny ... everybody wants to be your friend."
As Sic Love – in which Nathan wrote and produced every song – is about to hit the record stores, he is already working on a second album.
After the inevitable promotional rounds in Australia, he aims to head to America.
"I definitely want to go to the States, start a career over there, get their money."
The ambition has been burning for years. A tattoo bearing the name Derty Sesh runs the length of his left arm with flames surrounding the letters.
"That was just to symbolise that I'm on fire.
"Another cocky thing," he says, erupting into laughter.