Nef The Pharaoh's Found Rap Success Living With Dyslexia

The Bay Area emcee's inspiring revelation that all of his rap success has come while living with dyslexia.

Bay Area MC Nef The Pharaoh already has a buzzing fan base, but many of even his most loyal supporters may not know that he's accomplished everything while working through a reading disorder.

In a new interview with Paul Rosenberg, Nef spoke about how he has to deal with dyslexia as an artist. People with dyslexia can have difficulty spelling, reading, writing, pronouncing, and sounding out words, despite having normal intelligence. 

Nef brought up his dyslexia while telling the story of recording a verse for a song with E-40:

“When I’m making a song and I’m thinking of the verse, it all come to my head at one time, like ‘boom,’ it’s right there. I need to write it down. So if I write it down on paper, I’m writing fast, and I go on autopilot,” he explains. “Then when I finish and I read what I wrote, it’s like words backwards, shit is flipped. It looks like chicken scratch, and it’s hella confusing.

“Everything hits me at one time: ad-libs, verse, what I want to say, how I want to say it, the tone of voice I want to do, how many bars I want to do, where I want to switch up at, where I want to change my voice at. It just comes at me all at once, like getting hit by a car,” he continued.

Instead of writing down his lyrics or ideas, Nef is forced to record something immediately to get everything out at once. But on the bright side, he records more quickly: he finished his latest mixtape in seven days, and a meeting with Afrojack to do two features ended with eight songs finished in one day.

Many people have heard how dyslexia impacts a person’s ability to read. But hearing how it impacts a rapper’s ability to create music is fascinating. 

By William E. Ketchum III, on Twitter at @WEKetchum

Photo Credit: Instagram