When it comes to the arts, Walter Nathan Price (but, please, call him Nathan) is a one-man army. He may be a fifth-year senior physics major, but Price is also a self-proclaimed rapper, playwright, composer and actor.
“I like rap a lot,” Price said. “I’m a counter-tenor, which is basically a male soprano, so I like choral music. I love theatre. I love drama, writing … I like writing plays especially. And I like writing lyrics a lot, especially rap, because I love horrible, awful, awful, awful puns. But I also like farcical things – parodies – I like writing theologically based, philosophically based stuff. And I like combining different styles whenever I possibly can.”
A love of rap
Price said his oldest sister introduced him to rap music.
“I started out listening to Lecrae,” Price said. “(My sister) introduced me, and I listened to (Lecrae) back when nobody knew who he was.”
Micah, Price’s younger brother, is a junior mechanical engineering major, and he said even though Price is now an avid self-produced lyricist, their parents were not very fond of his music preference.
“Our parents never really approved of rap,” Micah said, “but our older sister got us into it when we were about 10 and 12, and we were just like, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’”
Price said the first album of Lecrae’s that he listened to was “After the Music Stops,” which is the rapper’s second studio album, and his favorite Lecrae song when he was growing up was “Desperate.”
He also said the song “Show Me,” which explores who Jesus is in the Old Testament, was an inspiration to him.
“It had a really unique rhyme scheme,” Price said. “I think that’s what jumped out at me. I haven’t heard much of it, but it was so clever.”
Micah recalled his brother purchasing a music production software package and, shortly thereafter, writing a song called Micah 6:8. It was about Micah 6:8, shockingly enough.
“Nathan’s theology is pretty deep,” Micah said, “and he felt like his music was one way to get people to think about the truths of Scripture in a kind of upbeat – or low beat because he likes bass – kind of way.”
Micah also said “Scales and Awkwardness,” prefaced the “Rappera, Episode 1,” is his favorite song from his brother. According to Micah, the song was inspired by Gary Thomas’ book, “The Sacred Search,” and addresses relationships and dating.
A love of drama
As for drama, Price said he found his way into the acting world because of his love for singing, but he didn’t know the first thing about acting.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my older sister, Christen, because when we were little kids, she would write these plays and we would put them on for our family,” Price said.
He participated in the Kettering Children’s Choir, which he said was a prevalent source of his education in the professionalism of performing arts. Price also has acted in Cedarville’s productions of “Miracle Worker,” “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
A love of writing
Price said his interest in writing began with telling stories to his younger brothers.
“I would tell my younger brothers, Micah, Joel and Caleb, crazy stories until they fell asleep and, at one point, I considered writing a book based on those stories,” Price said. “I never finished the book, but what I did write gave me a chance to do a lot of self-critique. I also went to see ‘Annie’ at Xenia Christian and after that I wanted to try to write a musical. By that time, I had written multiple singles and even started a YouTube channel. It took me two years to finish the script for the musical, and I’ve spent the last year trimming it down.”
This play, written by Price, is titled “Just Life” and includes such themes as justice, truth, the importance of family and the power of the crowd to influence individuals to do both good and bad.
“It’s basically about a person who’s stuck on himself and how he changes,” Price said.
Lil’ Pricey’s talent
Brian McCray, a junior studio art major at Cedarville, grew up alongside the Price family.
“I always felt like Nathan was so much cooler than me because he was one year older and more competent,” McCray said. “He played violin for about as long as I can remember, and the whole family sang.”
McCray said Price’s script-writing is satisfying.
“It’s very clever and observant,” McCray said. “It makes me wish there was more, just of his work in general. If he wrote a book of short stories, I would read it. If he wrote a book of one long story, I would still read it.”
McCray also commented on Price’s musical prowess.
“He’s like a mad genius,” McCray said. “Imagine if C.S. Lewis and Childish Gambino had a baby — that’s the Righteous Reverend (McCray’s name for Nathan).”
When asked what aspect he regarded most highly about his brother, Micah said, “Listening to (Nathan) expound on Scripture because, whenever he starts talking in Sunday school or wherever we may be, it gets quiet everywhere in the room, and people want to hear what he has to say. I think that’s pretty awesome.”
And McCray said of Price, “He is like a deep ocean. He’s ever-changing, but reliable.”
Micah also described his brother as “the light under my fire, the wind beneath my waves. His music brings music to my ears.”
A Sample of Lil’ Pricey’s Songwriting:
- “I freestyle with floaters on, I be swimmin’ in this gene pool. I’m homeschooled, you guessed it ‘cause you saw how high my jeans pulled.”
- “Heartburn, call it a dragon in a heartbeat, ’cause out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Listen to Price’s work as PKC Productions on Google Play.
Dominique Jackson is a junior broadcasting major with a concentration in audio and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. When he’s not recording, he enjoys writing poetry, singing loudly and ignoring most societal norms.