|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Years active||1992—2002, 2005-2010, 2013-Present|
|Labels||Reel Life Productions|
Natas (Nation Ahead of Time And Space, originally Niggas Ahead of Time And Space) is an American hip hop group from Detroit, Michigan. Their last studio album "N of tha World" was released in 2006 through Warlock/Sony Red. In 2009, they released the mixtape "The Vatican". Currently original members Esham, TNT and Mastamind are recording a reunion album according to Mastamind's official Facebook account.
Esham met Mastamind as a student at Osborne High School, who gave him a three-song demo tape of his music, leading the two to form the group with Esham's longtime friend, T-N-T, deciding on the name Natas, an acronym for "Nation Ahead of Time And Space", and because it was "Satan" spelled backwards. In 1992, Natas released its first album, Life After Death on Esham's Reel Life Productions. Following the release of this album, Esham, Natas and Reel Life Productions were the subject of much controversy when a 17-year-old fan killed himself while smoking cannabis and playing Russian roulette while listening to Life After Death.
In 2002, Natas released its only charting album to date, Godlike, which peaked at #35 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart, #45 on the Heatseekers chart and #56 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. This was the last album of new material recorded by the group. Previously recorded material was released in 2006 and 2009 on N of tha World and The Vatican. In 2013 it was announced on Mastamind's official Facebook account that a new Natas album has been planned and after the release of his next album "The Ultimate Price" they will begin recording the album with an expected 2014 release date. This was later confirmed by Esham and than later by Mastamind's label lyrikal Snuff Productionz. On December 8, 2013 once again via his official Facebook account, Mastamind announced that recording of the new Natas album was completed and was in the mixing stages.
Style and influence
Natas refers to its performance style as "acid rap," comparing the lyrics to hallucinations induced by LSD. Acid rap has been described as a fusion of hip hop beats and death metal lyrics. Esham defined the genre as analogous to "modern day blues [or] heavy metal". Allmusic writer Jason Birchmeier said that Mastamind's rapping "owes little to any conventional style".
Natas is known for using live instrumentation, as well as for highly sample-based instrumentation which Allmusic compared to that of The Bomb Squad and Dr. Dre. Natas' lyrics focus on topics ranging from women and violence to spirituality, expressing self-reliance. Rappers influenced by Natas include Insane Clown Posse, Eminem and Kid Rock.
- Life After Death (1992)
- Blaz4me (1994)
- Doubelievengod (1995)
- Multikillionaire: The Devil's Contract (1997)
- WicketWorldWide.COM (1999)
- Godlike (2002)
- N of tha World (2006)
- The Vatican (2009)
- Upcoming 8th Studio Album (2014)
- Hess, Mickey (2009). "Esham". Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide: Volume 1: East Coast and West Coast. ABC-CLIO. pp. 411–413. ISBN 0-313-34323-3.
- All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip-hop. Backbeat Books. 2003. p. 309. ISBN 0-87930-759-5.
- deathofanindielabel 1. Gothom Inc. Event occurs at 11:39.
- "Charts and awards for Godlike". Billboard. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
- Birchmeier, Jason. "Biography of Natas". Allrovi. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- McLeod, Rodd (March 2, 2000). "The Wicket World of Natas". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- Keyes, Cheryl Lynette (2002). "Blending and Shaping Styles: Rap and Other Musical Voices". Rap Music and Street Consciousness. University of Illinois Press. p. 108. ISBN 9780252072017.
- Birchmeier, Jason. "Themindzi - Mastamind". Allmusic. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- "About.com reviews ''N of Tha World''". Dancemusic.about.com. 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- Birchmeier, Jason. "Review of WWW.Com (Wicket World Wide)". Allrovi. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
- Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (August 2003). "The Dark Carnival". In Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (second ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 174–185. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8.