DTLV Hip Hop Artist Nate Quest Serves Sobering Realness

Meet the Humans of Downtown: stories and snapshots from the urban core of Las Vegas

By Zoneil Maharaj | DTLV

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If you’ve been to a hip-hop show in Las Vegas, you’ve likely seen Nate Quest on stage. He’s hustled since high school, repping for Vegas alongside his POWMINDSET partner in rhyme Nick Crucial for 15 years. His music covers all things Vegas, from the glitz to the grime, over rich, narcotic production that will leave you hooked. But while a lot of Vegas hip-hop celebrates the turn-up, Nate’s latest solo release, last year’s “Insignia,” serves sobering realness.

He performed “Insignia” live for the first time at DTLV Field Trip.

“My music has matured,” he says of his newer recordings. “It’s become about being as honest as I possibly can.”

That honesty is all over “Insignia.” It might as well be the soundtrack for any Las Vegas thirtysomething burnt out from our city’s grind. Album opener “Worth” sets the tone, kicking off with a gem from a 2006 Nipsey Hussle interview — “Invest in some assets as opposed to trick off my money on some liabilities like diamonds, you know what I’m saying?” — then erupting into a brief salvo about real value. Songs like “Daily Concerns” and “Fade” highlight his growth. “I used to run from the pain / Now I’d rather embrace it / Used to get drowned in the liquor / Wondering where all of my days went,” he raps.

The new album Nate’s currently working on continues the arc of maturation.

“It’s a lot of grown raps about real situations,” he says. “The pandemic has made me see how important family is and how much I value my time with them. The birth of my daughter changed my entire outlook on how I spend my time.”

For more stories like this, follow #HumansOfDTLV on Instagram.

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