Being a rapper in the game today is challenging for any newcomer. You’re either compared to legends like Rakim, KRS-One, and Jay-Z or pinned against other artists looking for that elusive shot at stardom. The only thing that separates predator from prey is skills, and New York based lyrical alchemist, NOTAR, has a surplus big enough to fill an aircraft hangar. On his self-titled debut EP, NOTAR (real name Michael Notarfranceso) goes for the jugular with mind-bending high octane tracks like the electric guitar laced “Matador” and genre-defying ode to partying, “Alcoholic.” “I personally like that track,” NOTAR reveals some downtime with UnRated NYC. “It rubs some people the right way and others the wrong way,” and one of those people who got rubbed the right way by NOTAR’s uncanny ability to tell stories is none other than Counting Crows front man and Tyrannosaurus Records founder, Adam Duritz, who immediately signed NOTAR to his new label. “NOTAR’s flow is absolutely blistering,” Duritz explains. “He spits with incredible speed and syncopation while constantly changing the rhyme schemes and the rhythm of his flow, never sticking to the same pattern for too long and constantly surprising me,” which he witnessed firsthand as NOTAR put on a rap showcase for concertgoers as the opening act on this summer’s Counting Crows Traveling Circus and Medicine show tour. While most of those people were at the Traveling Circus to catch Counting Crows in action it was a different story in early November when Hip Hop heads congregated at New York City’s R Bar Click Here to see gallery to see NOTAR spit verses faster than a speeding bullet. The energy was thick on the two year anniversary of his first show in New York (coincidentally at the same location), and NOTAR, along with his band received roaring applause after each song. Adam Duritz also made a guest appearance on stage to assist his hot young artist on their collaborative effort, “Stranger,” a song about the hardships of being a soldier overseas. To be a survivor in the rap game you need more than just the eye of the tiger. You need to have mad skills and the right team sharing your product with the masses. Not only has NOTAR found that stellar support system through Tyrannosaurus Records and Adam Duritz, but he has the ability and drive to become a legend. That is what separates him from the rest of the pack. NOTAR credits his sharp growth in the industry one special ingredient: honesty. “What’s gotten me here is me being me,” and as long as he stays true to himself the sky is the limit. Be on the lookout for his forthcoming LP, Devil’s Playground coming out next year. It’s gonna be a good one.
All images are copyrighted.
**Click on any picture below to initiate Lightbox Gallery.