Ndefru The Player Day is an entrepreneur's entrepreneur. He embodies the definition of an aspiring mogul. He is a rapper that reflects the vintage old-school sound of the Gritty Records collectives. His recent album with Gritty City, Richmond Gas, was well received amongst local platforms. Ndefru is also a fashion designer. In 2019 he sequestered his accessories brand Sandzo Anguafo to customize Italian sneaker templates by Alive Shoes. Coordinating with his forward fashion apparel brand Anguafo has proven insightful as the SA Euphoria shoes were welcomed into the coveted TheShoeCircle.com, which has been featured on Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Esquire.
He is also a merchandiser as he launched brandedambassador.com where he guides products from their formation to the final product. It ties into his MOGUL$ clothing brand and printing services to help companies with manufacturing along with creating innovative ways to sell their merchandise. Ndefru wears many hats and we had to discuss his many avenues, including his newest single dropping on April 1st, Dirty Street Traffic.
You can buy the SA Euphorias HERE.
Jay: What was the influence behind the MOGUL$ clothing line? What should a customer expect about the quality of the clothing?
N: MOGUL$ is apparel for the owner of several businesses or the over-ambitious. I have a fashion brand La Maison D’Anguafo and my partner is the owner and CEO of Mogul Printing. When he started BRANDED, an apparel source, I saw a forward fashion streetwear brand in a vision. I initially designed shoes called Mogul$ and a subsequent collection that took off with the German Euro logo. We source new and often exotic silhouettes worldwide.
Jay: Earlier in the month, you dropped Exceedingly Rare Fossils. This is your sixtieth mixtape in your discography. How do you manage to stay this consistent for this long?
Thanks for that. I approach music like fashion and fashion like music. My inspirations for tapes come from the current feel of American, more specifically Virginian culture, so I choose songs that are contemporary. Artists nowadays must be prolific to stay relevant unless your Kendrick.
Jay: Tell me about the formative days of Gritty City. It is a collective that has a mass array of projects on its Bandcamp. How did the camaraderie form over time?
N: I’m one of the newer artists on Gritty City Records. The OGs of Gritty City Records are Johnny Ciggs and Fan Ran. I’ve written music for a while and have produced alternative hip-hop, so I followed Gritty since like 2013 by their reviews in RVA Magazine. They were heavy into hardcore, binge parties, and shit. But their music is golden-era hip-hop.
A visual featuring two songs from the Richmond Gas project in 2021.
I can't forget Rah Scrilla, Profound, Skweeks, Rep!, Ben F.M. Crawford, P.T., and RIP Skeet, Wik, Sleaze. I can’t flex like I know all the records and everyone in the crew but that’s fam. I met Ant first and got cool. We all come from various struggles with life and or substances and have a passion for Richmond independent music.
Jay: You have new music coming out sometime in September with ProFound79, another Gritty City Records affiliate. What is the direction for that project?
N: Moor American Graffiti is the record by Profound79 and me. It is more personal than many of my more popular albums. I call it my ‘96’ record because that is the year that probably most influenced my style. The music reflects the mood of a black street artist torn between the lure of free capitalism and the guilt of wild exploitation.
Jay: You do also have new music coming out on April 1st with Poe Mack called Dirty Street Traffic. You’re also dropping new shoes and clothing on the same day. What should we know about Poe Mack prior to the release of Dirty Street Traffic? Will the shoes and clothing be a part of a bundle deal with the project?
N: Yeah, Poe Mack is one of the greatest rappers/producers from VA in my generation. He’s from Salem and his records get spun by NYC DJs and make playlists worldwide. The album Decadence with Johnny Ciggs put me on. My single Dirty Street Traffic produced by Poe Mack is a return to the hunger for the music. I have this mantra called the ‘triple play’- new shoes, new clothes, oh yeah new music- when I make public the aforementioned items.
On the day of the Dirty Street Traffic drop, I’m releasing the Sandzo Anguafo DST which is an Italian leather and suede running shoe, an Anguafo collection, and the DIRTYSTREETTRAFFICNFT. The first three buyers of the Sandzo Anguafo DST will receive a 2% stake in the DSTNFT. I want to show the importance of investing in brands you purchase.
Jay: If you had to choose one album that influenced your music style, what would it be and why?
N: Illmatic by Nas is probably the most influential album on me besides One Day It Will All Make Sense by Common. Nas was able to be a fan of ancient black culture, fashion, weed, and street life without compromising any one of those things. As a fourteen-year-old kid into Egyptology, Wu-tang Clan, and Nike’s, I think I played Illmatic hundreds of times in my walkman.