U.K. rap icon Nines cites Jay-Z as a major inspiration in his career and plans to turn his record label into “the new Roc-A-Fella.”
The “Clout” hitmaker opened up about his plans in a wide-ranging interview with U.K. outlet Mixmag shortly after releasing his fourth studio album, Crop Circle 2. The project, which debuted at No. 2 on the U.K. chart, marks his final album on Warner Records. As Nines noted, “I’m a free man now!”
On the closing track ‘Outro’, Nines declared: “Zino Records is the new Roc-A-Fella.” He’s kept tight-lipped about the bold statement but says the proof will be in the pudding. “Seeing is believing, man! Just let me get to work and you’ll see,” he teased.
Nines Was Inspired By Jay-Z’s ‘The Blueprint”
The album’s co-executive producer, Scotland-born, London-based beatsmith Show N Prove explained Jay-Z’s seminal 2001 offering, The Blueprint, was a source of inspiration for Crop Circle 2. The team used Hov’s project as the standard of rap music they strived to achieve.
“We kept saying in the studio, after making each song: ‘But is it Blueprint level though?’ We’re like, ‘It’s got to be Blueprint level.’ Not that the songs aren’t good, but it’s just being overly, overly harsh on yourself,” the producer explained. “Credit to Nines again, man. The Blueprint — metaphorically and literally.”
While Nines plans to dominate on both sides of the Atlantic, he’s not ready to conquer the U.S. just yet.
“I’d love to blow up in America,” Nines told Mixmag. “Who wouldn’t? If you’re a rapper, it just shows you that things are going well. But I’ve never put any importance on that. I’m trying to do numbers out here first, in Europe… In certain parts of Europe, they love the mandem — not just me, but the whole UK scene — so there’s still work to be done here before even thinking about the States.”
Stream Crop Circle 2 at the end of the page and check out the accompanying movie below.