Mother Nature creates music with feet on the ground. The group out of Champaign, IL is 100% for the people, creating art committed to action. Composed by emcees Klevah, Truth, and singer Cii La'Cole, they relocated to Chicago in 2016 and wasted no time making names for themselves as local artists with a message and a gift for communicating it.
Klevah is from Champaign, Truth from Chicago's Austin neighborhood, Cii La'Cole from Mississippi. They met in Champaign, IL at the University of Illinois outside of music, and collaborated for the first time in 2015, sharing a slot at a local festival while opening for Run The Jewels. Truth and Klevah each only had solo work, and needing something they could perform together, they began creating. Joining forces with Cii La’Cole shortly after, the dynamic that you find on their turned up, razor sharp raps has been undeniable.
“We wanted something that embraced femininity, but also power. Able to transition between smooth and calm, to being real turn’t and energetic, so what would be better than nature? It changes, it encompasses all those things, and it does have a feminine quality to it, so we went with Mother Nature. We came up with other names, but Mother Nature, as soon as we said it, just stuck, instantly.”
Listen to Mother Nature and you’ll hear passion dripping off of each track and every word. Mother Nature is driven, incorporating their world and philosophy into their music, a foundation that then manifests into reality through service and activism. This multifaceted approach is reflected in art that dives deep and rings true. It’s a sense of purpose on display, and their name brings to mind their mission, creating a sound and movement that are organic. As Klevah puts it,
“We’re not political, but we are intersectional. We bring ourselves, our full selves to our music, all of our identities...that’s where we started. We both were doing solo music but we were going to conferences together, getting called on to do community events. In Champaign - Urbana there was a lot going on with black people getting arrested unlawfully and the jails they’re trying to expand...that became the subject matter of our music because that’s what we were actually doing. All three of us have passions for youth, to educate youth, especially through hip-hop, to allow them to express themselves. It’s just important to us, our music is honest...allowing our music to be the soundtrack to the revolution”
Their debut project, Mother Nature, put this mentality on the mic, an introduction to the group that was the perfect mix intensity, wisdom and constant grooves. Fantastic chemistry and cutting lyricism allowed the trio to effortlessly ride from one vibe to the next, whether political, confessional, poetic or just plain wild. Mother Nature makes it sound easy, and since the three artists share the writing process, each track flows. The connection sparks, resulting in songs so natural you feel part of a high energy debate. The dynamism between the three artists is always at play, each song a conversation.
“It’s between all three of us, so it can come through in a multitude of ways. Sometimes you just play a beat and vibe to it, freestyle. Sometimes they might have a hook or a theme…or we'll just be walking outside and all of a sudden, 'look at that tree, it's green, it's green' (laughs)....in the verses, we write our own verses, and usually when we’re in the same space that’s the best way, writing our verses then reconvene. But it's always fun, no matter how it comes together.”
Mother Nature's commitment behind and beyond the music is real. Their experiences at WORD (Writers Organizing Realistic Dialect), a writing and performance program, were integral to their development. Now Mother Nature has their own workshop titled "The Miseducation of Hip-Hop", with a target audience of 16 - 24, focusing on education and expression through hip-hop as a medium. Their goal was to come to Chicago and get involved immediately. On top of that, the move brought them together, cementing a commitment to the group and providing a larger platform to work on what's really important to them.
“It's been great, the opportunities, the community of artists we've been blessed to be welcomed into. I love the community, I love that everybody knows somebody and the degrees of separation are really small...The move kind of solidified our group, really. Also, we moved to the south side, and our goal with that was to influence the community around us, just through the love that we have with each other, being able to spread that. Our move here was very strategic and holistic.”
It had such an impact on them, in fact, that in less than a month from arriving they finished their sophomore project. It's titled Movement, written about their relocation as a trio from Champaign to Chicago to pursue music full – time. Unreleased as of now, but Mother Nature has been rocking it live since completing the project, giving fans an added incentive to catch their already killer live shows. In fact, Mother Nature is quickly gaining a sterling reputation in the live department - no surprise, as they got their start rocking massive college shows at the U of I. This is a group who knows how to work a crowd. In fact, as artists, and more importantly, as people, Mother Nature is the total package. And what are their goals now?
“Definitely complete awareness of Mother Nature within Chicago, that was one of our main goals in coming to Chicago, exposure. Definitely working with local artists, anyone you can imagine…everybody. Coming this summer we're trying to ride a tour, trying to do everything, we’re getting a band together. It’s everything, world domination in 2017.”