Rapper Najii Person talks music, keeping his balance, and his loyalty to St. Louis by Cami Thomas
Najii Person is hard to miss. With his winding locs and powerful presence, he commands a room with the sort of comfortable silence that only comes from a true St. Louis music veteran. Yet with a baseball cap often worn low on his head, barely clearing his eyes, Najii admits he can be somewhat of a recluse at times.
"I'm really like a walking ghost" Najii said between bouts of soft laughter. "I pop up and then I'm gone and next time you see me I'm on the internet talking about some music I got about to come out. You see this crazy cover art for the song and you know I been in the lab."
The "lab" that Najii refers to is his recording studio of choice, tucked between sprawling buildings in downtown St. Louis. The studio is admittedly where he spends most of his free time. He's a private person who can seem to temporally disappear from the social scene, before re-emerging with music for his steadily growing fan base.
Fans don't have to wait long to receive updates from Najii, however. His active social media presence gives his followers a glance at the day in the life of the budding 23 year old rapper. "You can usually catch me on Snapchat" said Najii. "Making a beat or something."
Those who have walked down Delmar Avenue or Cherokee Street in St. Louis have likely laid eyes on promotional posters featuring Najii and his signature combo of long locs topped with a baseball cap. Posters for upcoming performances can often be seen sprawled about the city streets. Ironically, it's these same streets that he draws his biggest inspirations for his music.
"I have lived in St. Louis all my life until I went off to college back in 2012 when I went to Chicago" said Najii. He has no doubts that his upbringing in St. Louis have helped shape his musical style and lyrical content. "I definitely would say it's helped; by going to all the shows, listening to what everyone was doing. But most of all, life has helped me grow as an artist."
His content brings originality to the table, in that it's refreshingly honest and transparent. Najii isn't shy about chronicling the events of his life, and bringing light to common issues. Most notably, relationship scenarios.
"Some songs would have never been written if I didn't go through certain things in my personal life" Najii said.
Najii is young and still has plenty of growth potential to put him amongst the greatest to ever do it in St. Louis. And he has no plans of slowing down his momentum anytime soon. The next two years are full of excitement and optimism for Najii, though it's hard for him to anticipate exactly what's next.
"The way God moves I couldn't even tell you" he said. "Life's just funny like that. But I would like to be touring and making quadruple what I make now. And hopefully by that time the first album will be about to come out but only God knows."
Fans will have to just have to wait and see exactly what he's got cooking in the lab. His passion for his craft though, is unwavering.
"One thing I do know is I will be making music" he said.