Devin Tyler/Staff Writer
Social Work major Isaac Nolte may appear to be the average college student on campus but off campus Nolte is creating his own Hip-Hop music.
Nolte is currently taking English Composition and Sociology and is president of the Catholic Newman Association. Though Nolte is now a college student and involved in campus ministry activities, he has experienced many hardships in his life and musical career.
“From 1994 to 2009 was a really rough period for me because I went from being homeless, to drugs, alcohol and even addiction. I burned almost all my bridges with people who did things for me,” Nolte said.
Even though Nolte’s troubles began in 1994, it was also a spark that would ignite his passion to start rapping, which began when Nolte was at a neighborhood party with his friends and others having drinks and enjoying the party.
While the song “Steve Biko (Stir It Up)” by A Tribe Called Quest began to play in the car on the ride leaving the party with friends, Nolte began to freestyle to the song and his friends were surprisingly impressed with his display of random lyricism.
“One of the people I was in the car with turned around and said, ‘You freestyle?’ I was like. ‘I guess so.’ Then he said ‘Well, let’s freestyle battle.’ From then ‘til about 1999, I never really wrote anything down; it was all about freestyle battles and ciphers,” Nolte said.
As Nolte’s career began to take off, he invented his own style of rap which he called “bum rap.” This style was lyrics that mainly involved being broke, riding the bus, graffiti tagging and drugs, which were things he could relate to at the time.
Overall his style of rapping was focused on having fun and enjoying life. Nolte and his crew Wasted Talent (that later became Flat Broke Hustlers) would continue making music and having local shows as the opportunities came about.
In 2008 and 2009, Nolte’s troubled lifestyle reached a peak and he had ruined many friendships and reached a breaking point with his addiction. Nolte checked himself into a treatment facility to clean up his addiction and begin a cleaner way of life.
While receiving treatment at the treatment center Nolte also began to read and study the Bible, not only for religious purposes but also for personal knowledge.
“I have burned a lot of bridges in my life and I have made amends with most of the people that I burned bridges with. But ‘til this day there are some people who don’t trust me anymore or associate with me. That’s one of my main influences in music now,” Nolte said.
It was around this time that Nolte began to take a different approach toward his rhymes by letting his lyrics reflect his growth as a better person. Nolte stopped cursing in his lyrics and started a new sober outlook on life.
His approach to music took on a more positive, conscious and spiritual tone. It was the same lyricism and beats but the content was different. Flat Broke Hustlers (FBH) transformed into Faith Beyond Heaven because the message the group was trying to send changed; it was now about doing the right thing for the sake of it, not for any rewards or acknowledgment.
Nolte said that the new spiritual touch to his music is Hip-Hop and not Christian rap. His lyrical content is not about religion, but about situations in life.
“I am a Christian and that reflects in my songs, though I wouldn’t say I am a Christian rapper because my rhymes are all about praise,” Nolte said.
Nolte has released seven CDs over the past eight years and is currently in the progress of making his eighth album, all on his self-made independent label. Over the past years, he has performed at youth rallies, church youth groups and at the House of Rock. Nolte is 34 years old, but makes music that many age groups can relate to.
“You might see me performing at House of Rock and the next night at a church’s youth group. It is a interesting mix for sure,” Nolte said.
In addition to his studies and activities at the college, Nolte maintains a part-time job, is a newlywed and is expecting his first child soon.
“My love of Hip-Hop is what keeps me motivated primarily. However, the feedback of my fans is a huge source of encouragement as well. It helps to feel like what you do makes a difference in someone’s life,” Nolte said.
To listen to some of Nolte’s music and learn more about his career, visit www.Facebook.com/IsaacNolteHipHop.