A Conversation with Nametag Alexander

Nametag Alexander, or simply Nametag, is an up and coming Detroit artist with roots on both the east and the west sides of the city. Having been featured on Slum Village’s “Dirty District” compilation album and Black Milk’s “Sound of the City, Vol. 1” and “Broken Wax EP”, Nametag has earned a reputation as one of Detroit’s best and brightest young voices. In addition to being featured on multiple compilations and mixtapes, Nametag also gained momentum with his own LP and mixtape “The Name is Tag” and “For Namesake”, and in 2010 started his own label imprint Lead And Be Legendary (LABL). In an exclusive interview Nametag sat down with The College of Hip Hop to discuss being featured on the Slum Village compilation, how he got the name Nametag, and what he wants people to take away from his music.

How’d you come up with the name “Nametag”?
I hadn’t actually come up with the name. A cousin of mine actually coined that name for me back in like ’99 early 2000. It was random, and them just thinking left.

What do you want people to take away from your music?
I want people to take away from my music, especially my latest music…motivation to make something of themselves, and the inspiration to create something that exceeds them.

What was it like working with Slum Village?
I hadn’t exactly worked with Slum Village on any music, but I featured on their Dirty District 1 compilation back when I was in the rap group, Ten Speed and Brown Shoe. That opportunity in itself was very dope though. I was in high school then, and a super fan at the time of SV, so I thought I had jumped out the gym being on that compilation.

What other artists have you worked with?
Other artists I have worked with have been, Skyzoo, Guilty Simpson, Black Milk, Nameless, Chell, Miz Korona, Jahshua Smith, Red Pill, Mahd, Quest MCODY, Jamal Bufford, Black Bethoven, the whole Cold Men Young camp, Doc Illingsworth….this will be all day, if I tried to think of every name lol, but the collab game is strong.

What projects are you currently working on?
The project I’m currently working on is an EP with producer, Black Bethoven. It was titled “Sweet Victory” but I’m going to switch it up a bit with the title.

What are some of your long-term goals?
Some of my long term goals are continuing to be a great father, off top. Besides that, establishing a career in the field of music licensing. I want to have a platform to help independent music artists get their music placed in tv, film, etc. I have the Lead And Be Legendary podcast now, so I intend to expand that as a platform.

What do wish you would have known before getting into the music business?
Before getting into the music business, I wish I would have known more about the administrative side, and also having a better understanding of marketing music.