Music Video: "My Worth" by Nikolai Rya ft. NikkoNostalgia
Hip hop—especially in Denton and North Texas, I’ve noticed—is a genre that totally encapsulates a fun lifestyle, and supports living the life of your dreams. That might mean renting an old cookie cutter house or apartment with some friends, working a service job part-time, taking trips to the laundromat as you plan, create, and carry out your career. Nikolai Rya has been bringing that type of hip hop to Denton for years, while owning his own talent and artistry in “My Worth.”
Even in his high-energy videos, viewers can tell that Rya is at heart reserved and introspective, taking in his surroundings and studying to be the best at his game, and has come out with quite a dedicated following in the process. In “Perspectives,” he flows about meditating and calmly reflecting on the output of fellow rappers. “YTRAP” is a look into Rya in his element, amongst friendly fans at a packed house show doing what he loves. While these are glimpses into his creative process, “My Worth” looks deeper into his talent. In a grainy video, Rya and NikkoNostalgia rap in and just outside of a house, and in a small, empty parking lot. It’s all unassuming; the house looks lived in, the parking lot is lit by a street light and a fair distance from a few city lights, and there’s a sparse bush in parts of the video. But Rya and NikkoNostalgia carry around bundles of cash, smoke, handle a gun…all while sitting next to an oversized, stuffed teddy bear. At one point, cash in hand, Rya says, “Feel that I found out my worth/crazy how much that it’s all worth.” Rya has earned his respect, and NikkoNostalgia acknowledges that he is ahead of his times in the genre.
In this video, a suffering artist takes on a new meaning. Rya is talented. He knows it, his fans know it, and those who don’t know him yet will know once they hear his music. He’s young and he's still getting his name out there. It's worth noting that his output is impressive in size, he’s learning from peers both local and international, but he can also be reflective and write from what he knows, in a way that only he can tell it. This might be an overly abrasive introduction to the real Rya if you aren’t familiar with him; if that’s the case, I’d start with the two videos I mentioned above. When you truly know why Rya commands and deserves your attention, tune in to this no-holds-barred video.