High Rhymes: Niontay

in Culture

There’s a moment in Niontay’s “Thank Allah,” that feels like Sunday Service. Tay repeats, “Wake up in the morning, plot on gwuala, and thank Allah I’m alive.” Relief and tension thicken the song’s atmosphere with each breath. The Brooklyn-Florida emcee understands circumstance and thrives with the cards given. Last year, Tay released two projects: Dontay’s Inferno and Demon Muppy EP. 

While Niontay sounds relaxed, his lyrics often raise caution. On “Bac2highbac2reality,” Tay warns, “You can’t leave the field without taking a hit,” a stark warning and reminder over an uptempo dance bassline. It’s like dancing the pain away. That’s the allure of Niontay’s music: it sounds like the silver lining in a bad situation.

Niontay was originally born in Milwaukee, moving to Florida at 5 years old. He’d go back and forth until his Dad passed when he was 10. “When you were young, you just going with your mama,” he explains. It took him some time to adapt to Florida due to having ten toes down in his Milwaukee roots. Even down to his music taste of Boosie, Juvenile, Cash Money Records. His parents had diverse tastes; Dad was into Juvenile, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Outkast, as well as Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Q-Lazarus. Tay describes his mom’s taste as “all over the place,” depending on how she was feeling. “Mama would be going through some shit, she got on the Jill Scott in the car, she got on the Musiq Soulchild,” he remembers. What would capture Tay the most would be his Grandparents’ influence consisting of artists like The Isley Brothers, The Stylistics, The OJs, and The Ohio Players.

Niontay got into loads of trouble as a kid, taking on writing when grounded in his room. “My …

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Author: Anthony Malone / High Times

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