Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee just released her newest single titled “End Daze,” and we can’t stop listening! The song features Atlanta-based rap royalty bbymutha, as both recording artists are heard spitting braggadocious bars over the hard-hitting beat.
Hailing from Baltimore, Neru Thee Fourth prides herself in being a lyricist and producer, creating her own musical soundscape while blending the genres of hip-hop, neo-soul, ambient, funk, and psychedelic music. Whether you’re an existing fan or a new listener, Neru Thee Fourth Fugee will surely hypnotize you with her abstract lyricism, ethereal harmonies, and trance-like aura.
When asked to describe herself, Neru states, “I wear so many hats I never really know where to start. I’m a multidimensional artist, vocalist, lyricist, composer, creative entrepreneur, and founder. I also model, creative direct and practice community building. Ultimately I’m just a human experiencing life in all realms.”
“End Daze” serves as the lead single from her forthcoming sophomore album titled greater than. Features include Wu-Tang’s Killah Priest and Metaphor the Great.
AllHipHop caught up with Neru Thee Fourth Fugee to discuss her sound, her roots in Baltimore and more.
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: My sound is hard to explain in words. I always say that I’ve created my own genre, that’s the best way to express my sounds. I take elements from all my favorite genres, such as neo-soul, Hip-Hop, psychedelic, funk and add my own flavor creating a newfound genre. With that being said, I don’t like being boxed in. I can execute most styles and sounds. I’m both a songstress and lyricist, it’s not much I can’t do musically.
AllHipHop: You’re from Baltimore, how does that play into your life and career?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: I love Baltimore. It’s truly my home but it comes with its challenges. There aren’t many well-known publications, media hubs, labels etc. A lot of times when you find establishments that could be helpful, there’s a lot of politics. I’ve accomplished so much in Baltimore from creating my own creative community, curating hair shows, community building, mentoring aspiring artists and even acquired a multi use art studio to continue my community efforts. Ironically, I receive more industry and overall media support in other cities and sometimes countries. Baltimore can also be very stagnant, oppressive and heavy. I’m just happy to have beat so many odds.
AllHipHop: Who are your biggest influences?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: I honestly have so many from many stages of my career. Early on, I’ve always been a big fan of neo-soul: Angie Stone, India Arie, D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild, Lauryn Hill. I also came up listening to a lot of gospel and of course all of the classic hip hop, R&B and pop of the early 90’s and 2000’s. I’ve never really been interested in mainstream music and remember a moment in middle school where Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Yo Gotti, Nicki Minaj, Lil Boosie and OJ da Juiceman were all we listened to for a while.
Shortly after, that I discovered Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Dom Kennedy, Capital Steez, TDE, Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies and A$AP Mob. During this time is where I started garnering my sound. James Blake, Ab-Soul, early A$ap Rocky and Ferg, FKA Twigs, Kilo Kish, Corinne Bailey Rae, George Clinton, B.Slade and Bootsy Collins all played major roles in cultivating my sound.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was something you could do for a living?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: Though I’m completely independent, I’ve always been blessed with opportunities to elevate my career in a major way. When I performed with Danny Brown and Bruiser Brigade, or even when I worked with ill Camille and Deetranada on my last project, I knew things were becoming pretty serious for me. At one point during my journey, I realized that a lot of the artists I came up with when I started were receiving a lot of deserved recognition for their work. I knew it would only be a matter of time to receive my flowers as well.
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: What’s funny about this question is that I’ve had a lot of internal dialogue about how I believe would be the best way to present myself. You can find music and publications under many old aliases such as Neru Isis and even a very very rare project under Thee Fourth Fugee. Neru means power in Farcie’s and is also the name of a great African king and president. ‘Thee Fourth Fugee’ which you would assume came from Lauryn Hill, but I actually heard it being referenced in an Ab-Soul song years ago. I identify with the title ‘Thee Fourth Fugee’ because of my ability as both a songstress and lyricist. I met Ab-Soul in 2014 and he co-signed my name and it’s been history since.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to the making of “end daze”
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: Writing and recording “End Daze” was the most effortless experience I’ve had creating a song in a long time. The lyrics and instrumentation flow so perfectly together like a puzzle piece. End Daze is one of those songs that I wrote years ago and sat on until I felt it was ready to unleash. I wanted to make sure I had a great follow up to my 2021 single “Mask On” and I believe I accomplished that.
AllHipHop: How did bbymutha come on the track?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: During the process of recording this record I knew I wanted a big feature to accompany the single. My last project The Almanac had some really big names on the bonus tracks. I curated things that way purposely to keep my audience anticipating what’s next. I originally reached out to Lil B and Pink Siifu then reached out to BbyMutha. She was the first to get back to me and it just made sense. I’ve always been a big fan of BbyMutha and respect her journey and work ethic.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from your sophomore album, greater than?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: My next album “>” will be my breakout album. With features from Wu-Tang’s Killah Priest, Metaphor The Great, and BbyMutha, I’m positive that this project will be a great milestone for my career. You can expect to see a lot of growth within myself as an artist and even some new elements that I’ve picked up along the way. This project will be an exclusive look into who I am now, some of my experiences and some of the things I’ve overcome.
AllHipHop: What’s the meaning behind the title of the album?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: The meaning behind “>” (Greater Than) is exactly that. Acknowledging that I’m greater than my circumstances, environment and trauma. Even after everything I’ve experienced in my 27 years I’m still here and thriving. That’s something to celebrate.
AllHipHop: What do you want fans to get from your story?
Neru Thee Fourth Fugee: I want my fans to know and understand that you can beat any odds that are against you with consistency, persistence and staying true to self. When you’re original and working in your purpose, things may be a little harder, but the longevity you will gain is irreplaceable. Don’t compromise or get discouraged, just keep being you.