Travis Doyle, better known as Gorilla Nems, grew up in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The last stop on the train showed Doyle the excruciating details of the world with crystal clarity. He suffered many downfalls, legal issues and struggles with sobriety throughout his life. Thankfully, he has been on a tear lately which entails no legal scuffles, complete sobriety and a willingness to infiltrate the hip-hop game with an influx of quality tunes.
“Coney Soprano,” Nems represents
Growing up half-Latin and half-Irish always gave people the impression that Nems was Caucasian. People would question his authenticity in the rap game because of his assumed race.
But, it did not take long for them to realize that his graceful presence on the microphone would stamp permanent impact in any cypher. Gorilla Nems started to gain significant traction with his battle rap performances on an MTV2 show called, “Fight Klub.” To this day, he still holds the record with 25 wins and only three losses on that battle rap circuit. The unfortunate part about all of his battle success is that he was unable to capitalize on it due to his incarceration at the time the show aired. He still managed to gain some notoriety, but could not leverage it properly in order to maneuver his way into different sectors of hip-hop via networking, marketing and related activities.
Being from Coney Island prepared him well for the turns that life is sure to bring. Also, Gorilla Nems represents his neighborhood Coney Island with a strong sense of pride. It is his main priority to put Coney Island on the map and become hip-hop’s greatest talent to ever emerge from that area. Sure, Coney Island has had numerous athletes reach stardom such as Stephon Marbury, Lance Stephenson, Sebastian Telfair but never really a true artist to give the crown to. Gorilla Nems guns for that title while remaining hungry and humble.
People have reached out to him with inquiries about jumping back into the battle ring, but it appears that he will choose to fixate his focus elsewhere. It sounds like he does not find the battle circuit and its antics to be as valuable as putting time and effort into creating albums and designing clothes.Nems’ brand is called, “Fuck Ya Lyfe.” As a rather disrespectful character, he is unconcerned with the opinions of others and chooses to play the role of straight shooter within his friend groups. He releases new articles of clothing every week and they incorporate his FYL brand as offshoots of various mainstream logos. The social media era has truly helped him shift the landscape of how people perceive him. Posting online as a direct reflection of his business has allowed him to showcase his durable work ethic and the ways that he is able to provide meaning within his community. Nems is a true testament to the independent era where major labels are not as important and the middleman has been eliminated.
Steel Sharpens Steel
Nems is clearly a multi-purposed individual. Besides his clothing brand he also owns two barber shops within his hometown. Although, people mainly honor him for his contribution to the rap game. His name will always be credible due to his rhyme style and the people he has collaborated with. Some of those legends he has spit bars with include Ghostface Killah, Sean Price, Kool G-Rap, Proof and D-12. Surrounding himself with good hearted individuals that are authentic allows him to always improve his craft. His rhyming style is not exactly metaphorical but rather sharp, aggressive and to the point. He constantly sharpens his sword with a weekly freestyle series and keeps people in tune with his efforts via his Youtube channel, GorillaTV.
FAT TUESDAY FREESTYLE PART 8 pic.twitter.com/puY0Cvntjr
— GORILLA MONSOON OUT NOW (@NEMS_FYL) December 13, 2017
As a true hustler, Nems refuses to ride waves of what is popular or kiss up to others within the industry to better his stance. He always takes the path of most resistance and fights through to achieve success. His approach to music includes songs that convey uncompromising lyrics that stand the test of time due to their ironclad nature. As a bold, brash artist he puts together compilations that are ferocious, comedic and malicious. He is quite the character and proves himself to be a mainstay as a Coney Island entertainer and entrepreneur. What makes him brilliant is his ability to divulge his past struggles and place them onto wax as forms of expression. He did this particularly well on his most recent mixtape, “Gorilla Monsoon” gaining over 100,000 streams in one week. Although, he considers this to be an EP, it runs much like an album in terms of length, production, skits and storytelling.“Gorilla Monsoon’s” production was handled entirely by a man named Frank Sassoon (Jazzsoon) He comes from the cassette tape funk and groove era that represents old school New York. Full of personality and charisma Jazzsoon is a true city character that injects life into every scenario. His personal mixtapes are instrumental based and consist of old vinyl records that blend together marvellously. He sifts through multiple albums worth of recorded material and pieces them together in amazing fashion. Besides music, he has also started a minor fashion endeavor based on his catch phrase, “MY GUY!”
Nems and Soon cooked up a timeless classic in the form of “Gorilla Monsoon” which was released May 31, 2019. They worked well together due to their mutual respect of the genre and their in-depth knowledge of the process it takes to formulate quality records. They mesh well and their outgoing dispositions make them quite the humorous spectacle on the streets of New York.
Nems plans to release an album with Ill Bill called, “Shootout at the Cyclone” before the end of this year. His monumental brand entrance, “The Alpha” will release at a later date. It features production from Statik Selektah and The Alchemist. Stay in tune with Coney Island’s mayor as he will only continue to get better and give us special selections for quite some time.