Once a Princess: Nitty Scott, MC, Emerges from Disney Fantasy to Gritty Reality

Categories: Nitty Scott MC

Brook Bobbins
Minus the gritty: Nitty Scott, MC
Nitty Scott, MC, was a Disney Princess. Before transforming into a talented rapper, she was a 16-year-old character performer at Disney World in Florida. Scott's diminutive height determined her roles: She would climb inside a fur costume to become Chip (or Dale) or Winnie the Pooh or doll herself up as Princess Jasmine or Pocahontas.

"It was just the cutest job ever," the 23-year-old Scott says now, having since settled into a different kind of fantasy kingdom at Coney Island, where she has lived for the last three years and where she wrote her new album, The Art of Chill. Stepping into character at Disney gave Scott an early glimpse at the inspirational power performers hold over their fans: She recalls little girls crying with excitement when they saw her as Pocahontas, and a grandmother who was moved to tears after her granddaughter, who had been mute for a year after her family died in an accident, spoke again after she met who, on the surface, looked to be her idol.

A teenage Scott helped push Disney's happy façade to the world — "We were told to always maintain that happy place for everyone!" — but she was also privy to the Magic Kingdom's literal underground. A secret tunnel directly below Cinderella Castle was full of workers scurrying around to change into character and, most importantly, get paid. "It's a whole other world down there," she says now.

Straddling the worlds above and below ground is a constant in Scott's life. She left Florida because she was "living a dysfunctional life with my family and other stuff," and decamped to New York City to follow her musical dreams after being encouraged by the response her first mixtape received from those around her. So at 17 years old she became "the Nitty Scott, MC, character."

Of course, Scott's dreams of instantly cracking the industry were dashed as the bright lights of imagined fame were soon tempered by the gray gloom of everyday New York City survival. "I was very naïve in the way I thought I could just come to this big city, meet the right people, and it would just happen," Scott says now. "It's obviously not that simple — the city is filled with transplants trying to make their dreams come true. The reality of the situation hit me once I got here, and I became distracted by survival, fending for myself, keeping a roof over my head, staying fed, even getting from A to B."

Once more dwelling in an emotional and social underground, Scott recalls thinking, while working a regular job and living with six roommates "What is my life?" Music hopped to the backseat and depression took control. Slowly, though, she emerged from a two-year period with a less intense take on the interplay between life and art, expression and ambition, and eventually began to surround herself with what she calls "the right people," including her manager, Jules Giuliano. Spots at open mic nights became Scott's playground; she opened for Kendrick Lamar's first New York City show. Then came an EP in 2012, The Boombox Diaries Vol. 1.

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