Hip-hop Unicorn With a Vision
Native born Nashvillian growing the overshadowed local rap scene through live performance, cross-genre collaboration, and spreading good vibes
One of the rare ones who stayed, Lord Goldie, otherwise known as Karizma, was born and raised in the 12 South/Wedgewood area; bonus fact: the unofficial official term for a born and bred Nashvillian is “unicorn.”
In fact, back in ’97, Karizma had an old friend who owned a record shop on 12 South, which is no longer there and is now probably a brunch place. She decided to go against the current and stay in Nashville because she saw the city changing around her and wanted to become part of the change; though, Karizma also firmly believes that as an artist, it is important to journey outside of home, at least for a short moment, in order to grow mentally and creatively. To fulfill her nomadic artist development requirement, Karizma has travelled back and forth between here and Texas since her childhood, mainly to Houston. Other visited spots include Memphis and Atlanta. She plans on expanding her horizon by venturing up to New York by the end of this year as well.
Karizma also goes way back (as in back to the start of the year), with her introduction to HOME. Being a member since January/February, Jeremy and Jason of Root Note introduced Karizma to HOME Owner Logan, and set up a meeting before The Grand Tour existed, while the space was still under construction, transforming from a garage to the cozy spot it is today. The lack of a magnificent Tour did not sway Karizma; she saw the vision and baby HOME’s potential. Clearly Karizma has flawlessly tapped into her third eye, as HOME continues to grow and blossom.
Karizma’s introduction to music happened when she was a little kid. She had always been into poetry, and by age 9 she had written her first rap. In High School she was in a large group with a wide array of members. It was around that time when she started recording her music. After graduating High School, she attended SAE in Nashville, studied audio, learned how to mix, and earned a bachelor’s degree in something like Audio of Applied Science. Today, she sports a soundboard in ink on her right forearm.
In 2014, Karizma continued to write and create, and she added Producer Kyd Dynomyte among several others to her creative team to compose and release her first project onto Bandcamp.
To create her first project, titled Built 2 Last, she worked with producers Tim Hall, Syk Sense, Play Dat Beat Wee Wee, and Jeffo The Hitmaker in studio to write, record, and repeat. She tells me the recording experience varied depending on which producer she was working with that particular day; since producers are humans, they each have their own individual personality and creative flow. On top of the different personalities and different vibes, whether or not the producer played an instrument added another layer of diversity. Overall, the recording process was not at all difficult, since Karizma vibed well with each producer.
Also a member of TONS, Karizma is one of the growing number of non-country identifying artists in Nashville, though she is open to collaborate and create with anyone in any genre. Karizma knows hip-hop is her personal strength, but for her, if it works, it works, even rap country. She sees the hip-hop scene in Nashville growing and evolving, but the current obstacle is that Music Row doesn’t yet know how to market the genre. To counter the obstacle, Karizma mashes hip-hop with more currently accessible music. Creatively claustrophobic, Karizma has already collaborated with r&b vocalist Odessa Moon to cook up “Embers,” but she would love to exchange brain waves with underground rock band The Weird Sisters, thanks to the influence of her uncle raising her on rock, listening to legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana.
Being a mythical Nashvillian unicorn, Karizma has witnessed the rapid expansion and growth of the Music City: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Believe it or not, there was once a time when cars roamed free without thousands of stoplights or being gridlocked in traffic jams on the interstate; though, the large influx of people means that there are always new faces to meet every time you walk through a door.
There are speculations as to why Nashville is growing at such a rapid rate, that Karizma and I discussed and agreed on. One speculation is the rise of Nashville hot chicken. Apparently, Hattie B’s is not the original; they grabbed the recipe from local, family owned Prince’s Hot Chicken, she tells me. Regardless, The Food Network featured our spicy poultry and informed the masses that our amazing and yummy city exists. Another speculation, of course, is the rise of country music in the mainstream, which could be attributed to Blake Shelton’s popularity from his coaching gig on The Voice, as well as Florida Georgia Line’s cross-genre creations, introducing non-country fans to the sound of country. Despite the speculative reasons, it is evident that Nashville is expanding daily, maybe even hourly, as more artistic folk discover the welcoming energy we emanate.
Focusing back on Karizma, another critical moment for her creative career is performing at SXSW every year since about 2013 or ’14. Her connection with DJ Money Green, who has 2 stages every year, opens the door to meeting different artists of all flavors. The Spring weekend even is a hot hub for indie artists, where business cards and CDs are handed out like candy on Halloween.
All her collabs and performances have guided Karizma to where she is today, with her latest release, “Like I’m Broke”; though, more is to come in August!
Go show her some love at her live shows and on her socials!
Interviewed and written by Andra Ingram