Swordz—“sharp words”—is the name that Nathan Bowers’ fans know him by. The personification of one of his lyrics: “a product of pain and dedication” is truly what Swordz has become. Swordz has garnered a following for his raw, gritty lyrics and high-energy shows. He has built a reputation as one of the best live performers on the underground circuit, with a lyrical intensity few have seen below the Mason Dixon Line.
Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Atlantic Beach to be exact, the path for Swordz has been everything but easy. With a couple stints of jail time and trouble following the rapper’s breakout year in 2006, it appeared as if he was never going to maximize his full potential. His records “Weatherman” and “Dope Bwoy” caused many to place Swordz among the ranks of the Southeast’s biggest names as the songs were appearing on mixtapes throughout the South. Several publications featured Swordz as the next artist to strike it big, and with a backing from DJ Bigga Rankin, the exposure only grew.
Swordz was also at the fore of the growing “Hood Rock” scene in Jacksonville, often seen performing alongside some of Jacksonville’s well- known rock bands and doing so organically. He even garnered a slot on the coveted “Patiently Waiting” section of Ozone Magazine as they noted, “His mixtapes have afforded him a strong fan base throughout the Southeast, and he’s worked with everyone from Blood Raw to Wayne Wonder. But it’s his shows that have set him apart from the competition. Known to regularly perform with a live rock band rather than have the standard 100 man crew on stage, Swordz demands to be looked at differently.” Even with all of the success that was coming, though, it suddenly stopped.
Swordz seemingly disappeared from the music scene until the release of his 2009 Get Ya Money Up Mixtape hosted by BET’s DJ Q45. “One thing I need y’all to know ‘bout me is I’m out working, regardless if you hear about me or see about me—I’m up to something” says Swordz regarding his seeming absence from the music scene. Such work, even in the midst of his disappearance, led to the 2010 full-length album Solja Psychology.
“If you’ve been wondering what’s been going on with me the past cou- ple of years, you’ll get it with the Solja Psychology project...I’ve spent a lot of time doing a lot of soul-searching, a lot of growing up and a lot of detoxing; and I’ve captured that sonically on this project” says Swordz. The project, currently available on iTunes, has solidified his return to the forefront of the Florida music scene. Swordz is bringing back a balance into the Southern rap scene with deep graphic lyrics and rock star sensibility. "Substance over Flash" is Swordz' mantra, and he holds true to it. The South is rising once again—through Swordz!
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