3D Na’Tee (pronounced Three Dee Nah-Tee), was born Samantha James in the notoriously rough city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Having to deal with extreme hardship and tragedy in her home, Na’Tee turned to poetry and music at an early age as a way to release tension and gain a sense of inner calm amidst the chaos and confusion that surrounded her. Na’Tee knows the turmoil of the street life all too well. She is the oldest child and the only girl of parents who sold drugs, and later fell victim to the same fate as many of the people they sold to over the years. Her mother and father became addicted to drugs when Na’Tee was just a child.
Sadly, her father committed suicide when she was just 10 years old, forcing her to grow up fast and assume the parental role for her two younger brothers. Having adopted the hustler’s mentality of her parents, she eventually began selling drugs in order to make money and take care of herself. After her own run-ins with the law, she made the choice to change her lifestyle for the positive.
This is where Na’Tee embraced her love for music and her lyrical talent as a God-given gift. Once she accepted her talent as such a gift, she knew that she must follow this purpose for her life. For Na’Tee, music is what she was born to do; it is how she shares herself with the world. The personal story that this female emcee has to tell is one of triumph over tribulation. The female rapper describes the evolution of her signature sound as sometimes sexy, sometimes street – yet always honest and, most important, entertaining:
“My sex appeal is natural, not forced. So I don’t spend song after song rapping about my body or my sexual experiences. My musical scope is much larger than that. I’m a lyricist and an entertainer, first and foremost. I want my music to be the soundtrack to the lives of those chasing their dreams.”
The roughness you hear in her music is reflective of the hard shell that she had to adopt to protect herself from her own anger and pain. Her more upbeat songs are a celebration of her ability to now be able to embrace the good in life and her newfound possibilities. Mature, heartfelt tracks such as “Dear Father” are glimpses into her past which tell a story of a child once lost, as the lyrics display evidence of a woman now found.
With the release of her first mixtape, 3’s Company Vol.1: Da Rapper, Da Hustler, Da Diva, Na’Tee quickly developed a fan base in her hometown and word began to spread that yet another amazing Hip Hop artist was emerging from New Orleans. By the release of her second project (3’s Company Vol.2), Na’Tee had begun participating in rap battles – her most infamous battle was a win over the four-time freestyle champion on BET’s 106th and Park, Jaha.
Capitalizing off of the promotion and buzz of that battle, Na’Tee released her mixtape the same week of the rap battle. Seizing the moment and prevailing, Na’Tee had officially made a name for herself, and had the fan base to match. She set expectations high and was determined to deliver; and she did just that. Following that infamous rap battle, she appeared on a DVD, “The Kush 2,” produced by Mack Maine of the super-successful music label, Young Money. The DVD was distributed nationally and gave Na’Tee the exposure she needed to take her career to the next level.
An independent artist, Na’Tee is currently working on her fifth mixtape, The Coronation, which will be released in 2012. The Coronation features appearances by artists such as Timbaland, Keri Hilson, Missy Elliott and more. She has been featured on MTV2’s Suckafree Freestyle, and has appeared in both HipHop Weekly and The Fader magazines. Na’Tee has also been featured on Thisis50, GlobalGrind, Shade 45 and other online and radio urban media outlets. At the 2010 New Orleans Underground Hip Hop Awards, Na’Tee won Lyricist of the Year, Best Female Artist, and her 2010 mixtape, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, earned her the award for Mixtape of the Year.
The following year, she won Video of the Year for the viral release of “Switch,” which once released online took on a life of its own, and immensely increased her musical following. To add to her list of talents and experience, Na’Tee directed and edited this video herself; this is also the video that got super-producer Timbaland’s attention, which led to him offering her a production deal with his company, Mosley Music Group. With New Orleans under her belt and having caught the initial attention of Hip Hop heavyweights, Na’Tee is ready to earn her spot amongst the greatest emcees in Hip Hop.