Natalac: Ain’t Nuthin But A G Thang, Baby.
While the axiom of this article derived from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic album, it best describes the personality of Shelden Martinez Davis, also knowkn as Natalac. The O.G is owner of a hair salon, and he’s CEO of Natalac Express Trucking Company, which is the sister company to Natalac Records, and that’s where he makes music with another artist under him. Natalac spends time between Florida and South Carolina where he manages real estate. He learned through grit and grind that you gotta have more than one hustle to stay afloat, which he talks about in his songs.
The rapper earned the nickname Natalac from revolt slave, Nat Turner, because he was always organizing and putting things together. When he was younger, Natalac enlisted in the marines, and that’s where he bought his first Cadillac. He combined the two elements, to create stage name Natalac.
Observably, Natalac is a modern-day pimp. He styles his hair in tight Shirley temple curls. He wears pressed, showroom, garbs that are a bit eccentric in this era. Natalac is the epitome of a down south procurer, periodt!
The multifaceted industrialist is known for his song “Fire in Florida." The song caught the attention of the NAACP for the “Get Your Vote on Tour” in 2000. He released other singles like “Pimp of The City,” “Step Daddy,” “Nothin Like a Pimp” and “STAAACKS," "Pimp Of the Nation."
How did you initially get into music?
I went hard into hip hop after I got out of the marines, after the war was over. That was real hip hop recorded on cassette tapes. I started in the nineties. My first big record that actually did something'—because people do music all the time and it never leave the neighborhood, or the city they’re from. My first big record was fire in Florida that talked about the diss infringement of the Florida votes when Al Gore and Bush were running for president. I was discussing how they threw away seventy-five thousand votes in Jacksonville Florida alone, because Florida was one of the crippling states that if you didn’t take Florida in the preliminary, you lost. That was my first decent record. I put out eleven albums so far and I’m working on my twelfth album. That was my first song off my album that did something back in the day.
You had a few hits. Take Step Daddy for instance. What inspired that track because that was different from your political side?
Step Daddy is a classic. It’s not going anywhere. It’s like a Marvin Gaye song. If you heard that record when it came out, and even if you heard that record now, if you are a real stepfather and you heard that record, you automatically loved that record. I’ve performed that record in some churches. You know, the church, they don’t have rappers coming in. They brought me because it was a real song. I didn’t put myself on a pedestal. I’m a regular man. At the time, I was still married. I had girlfriends and they had kids. I didn’t shun the little ones just because I got kids. If I got my kids get a bike, their kids get a bike. If I buy a couch for my house, I’ll buy a couch for their house. That’s just the way I roll. If I hang a ceiling fan in my house, I hang a ceiling fan in my girlfriend’s house. That’s one of the ways that I really came into that and back into them days, that’s when DNA testing was kinda new. A lot of men were taking DNA tests, and a lot of men were finding out that their kids weren’t their kids. At the end of the day, a woman can be in her emotions, but a man can’t. If he gets in his emotions, he’s going to make a gang of mistakes. He is going to do a bunch of stuff that he doesn’t have any business doing. When a man gets in his feelings, people die, people get hurt, and he goes to jail. You gotta keep a logical mind about all this no matter what the situation is. If you’re a king, you can’t afford to get into your feelings and that’s one of the things not awarded to you. You always got to be on top of your game no matter what comes at you. If you’re a king, you got to be ready for it. That’s all I have to say about that. The Stepdaddy song isn’t going anywhere. Everybody loves it. It’s a real honest song and it’s a different approach. It was before Sammy Sam came out with Do the Stepdaddy dance. I came out first. Throughout all of it, we see the song that stood the test of time, and that’s Stepdaddy, Superman, Pappy.
Who were your musical influences?
I grew up with a lot of old-school music where songs had to have a meaning, or it wasn’t no sense in listening to it. That’s why a lot of my songs have a storyline to it. A lot of the younger rappers got away from songs that make sense or tell a story. They are just rambling, but I came up on Isaac Hayes, Clarence Carter, and a lot of soul music like Aretha Franklin. These are the sounds I came up on. It was just that era. It’s not saying I don’t listen to some music now. I do, but my musical influences were always people that were saying something—certain songs just stick with you forever. It needs content.
Speaking of content, what are you working on now?
Right now, I’m still pushing The Pimp of a Nation album where I got Sean Paul, The Ying Yang Twins, Project Pat, Pastor Troy, the guy from Three Six Mafia, Lil Ru with The Nasty Song, to name a few artist. I got a broad base. That’s the Pimp of the Nation album. I’m always working on other things. My twelfth album is entitled Love & Pimp Hop kinda like Love & Hip Hop. As a matter of fact, I’ve already worked with Benzino and JT Money on it. I’m lining them up now and getting into the mode of it.
You’ve collaborated with a lot of old school artist with this latest project. What was it about these artists that stood out to you that you wanted them to contribute to the compilation?
These O.G artist have a wide fan base. If I listen to their music so I felt like everyone else is listening. It’s not saying that I don’t mess with some of the younger artist cause I do. Julio is one of the young artists out of Florida. For people to accept the pimp and the old school player for who he is, that just shows that my genre of music or style reaches over. I don’t see too many brothers like that with them curls rolling in his hair and still suited down in Gucci shoes. I don’t wear Jordan’s; I wear Gucci shoes. Everybody loves pimpin and I love them back.
Let’s get into turning creative success into a business. Why was it important for you once you did the music, you wanted to get into entrepreneurship with multiple businesses?
Believe it or not, I’ve been multitasking like that for almost twenty-five years. My dad always told me, “Don’t quit your day job,” so I took that spirit. I could’ve branched out on music. I was on BET Uncut for years. I had a nice video out there, and it was number five of the wildest BET Uncut videos of all-time. If I’m number five out of the top fifteen, that says a lot. I was booked during CIAA. I’m the only artist that I know that was making money while going there, and I knew I was making money when I left. I don’t take losses because I have different streams of money. You must have different streams to cover your habits and the things you like to do. I’ve always been on top of my game. Music goes up and down. You might get booked four weekends out of this month, and the next weekend, you don’t get any bookings, so I just don’t know losses. Pimpin always stays on his game whether large or small. I just make sure I get to the money.
If you could use your musical platform for good, how would you influence the youth?
I do it in the music. Like I said, I put out eleven albums. I slide different stuff to you in my album to make you think. Like, on my Answers album, I know I got the only black history rap song in history. On Pimp of the Nations album, I got a song called Playground with Lil Ru, the Def Jam artist. It’s talking about adult life and what men and women gotta do to provide and go to work every day. Sometimes, you must sacrifice. You can’t go out and blow your money every weekend. You gotta do stuff for the kids. I will put it like this, I don’t ever want to be called an older guy and look at my music and see that I didn’t give fans nothing but trap music and then they get trapped. I’m not doing that. I have grown kids. I’m granddaddy. I’m not going to just feed them a whole lot of negative, I’m going to slide them positive stuff too. In the words of Tupac, we must start holding artist accountable for the type of music they put out.
What is one of the hardest lessons you learned coming into the industry?
One of the hardest lessons I learned that cost me thousands of dollars is, just because they say they are who they are, you can’t believe it because they be lying. I had a guy that cost me sixty-thousand stacks. Everybody in this industry isn’t for you. They can all talk a good game. You must be very careful with who you let into your world, because they will come into your world and destroy it. You have a lot of opportunist out there. These opportunists are calculated.
For words of wisdom or if you’d like to stay current with his music, follow the O.G Natalac on Instagram. There is never a dull moment in his world.