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Detroit, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Detroit, Michigan, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Hip Hop Soul




"Noveliss (Clear Soul Forces) Announces New Album, Talks Detroit & More"

Noveliss is a rapper. You hear that newjacks? An actual wordsmith who can rap good over a beat. More so a machine gun with generous stamina. It’s cool if you can rap, but backed by actual content and a respect for the culture is the faultless combination that we truth seekers admire. Lyrics are still important to you, right? Or at least to some of you hopefully. If this is your introduction to Detroit’s Noveliss consider yourself a lucky human. We’re not here to dissect his lyrics or talk super nerdy, technical slang. But it’s important to note his authenticity. And evident passion, with a seemingly open-door policy as to what he allows to inspire his craft. You’ll read more about this below in our interview segment, but it’s no secret that anime culture leaks into his craft as a wordsmith.

I remember first hearing Clear Soul Forces (Noveliss making up one fourth of the Detroit-based collective). A good friend walked into my place unannounced and made me stop what I was doing to play “Get No Better“. The record was rewound an embarrassing amount of times and I’ve been a fan of them since. It’s not too common, especially today, to be introduced to a collective where every emcee is on the same page creatively and sonically. If you’re skeptical and aren’t sure to trust me here, do the background check and indulge. It’s beautiful, vibrant hip-hop.

Moving forward, Noveliss has had an equally healthy and respectable solo career. In a short amount of time, a little over a year to be particular, we’ve heard a few different bodies of work, Mic Swordz being the latest. Though listed as an EP, as well his other releases, it’s certainly full-length quality. Perhaps a taste at what’s to come with his newly-announced album via Left of Center. You can read more about that below, as we were eager to ask him about it and its details. But getting back to Mic Swordz, good lord. If you’re preference is based in boom-bap and you love lyrics it’s the one. He’s not limited to the golden era sound, but certainly embraces it and is skilled under the umbrella. If you missed it you can check it out here or stream it below. - RESPECT

"Interview With Rapper Noveliss of Clear Soul Forces."

Jarred Douglas AKA Noveliss from Detroit's Hip Hop quartet Clear Soul Forces (I was able to interview L.A.Z last year) is an athlete and lyricist who like the group, has received glowing reviews for his brand of high-level pop culture infused metaphors.

Noveliss seamlessly blends references to Anime, Film, and Professional Wrestling (one of his favorite pastimes) into his rhyme schemes setting him apart from many other contemporary rappers. After his phenomenal solo EPs, he along with the other members of CSF are obtaining the recognition they all deserve.

It's with great pleasure that I can now say I have interviewed half of one of Detroit's most electrifying acts. - Inside The Rift

"Gambling on a Dream: Why Noveliss Quit His Job to Rap Full-Time"

To be a rap artist—the kind of job that requires the alignment of one's work and personal life—means to juggle important events and life-changing opportunities. On his single “Tabernacle,” Royce da 5’9" tells the story of meeting Eminem after a contracted performance in their shared home state of Michigan. Before gracing the stage that evening, Royce was at the hospital. His wife was in labor on the ninth floor, while his dying grandmother was fighting for her life on the fifth.

Under such circumstances, most artists would have instinctively canceled their performance, but Royce didn’t cancel. As a result of this decision, he was able to connect with a man who would become a lifelong friend and career-long partner, on the same day he held his firstborn child and lost a granny. Farewells and fresh starts have a strange, cosmic connection.

Noveliss—a fellow Detroit lyricist and one-third of rap trio Clear Soul Forces—is familiar with faith and how twisted she can be. In 2016, while performing at Youmacon, the massive, annual, four-day anime convention held in Detroit, he met rap peer, Mega Ran. The two built a kinship upon their shared interest in wrestling. When Mega was invited to perform in Japan, he extended an opportunity for Noveliss to join him.

The offer was a chance to rap in a country he’s admired, studied, and dreamed of visiting. But then, tragedy struck. “I lost my grandmother and the Japan trip overlapped with her funeral,” he says over the phone. Suddenly, Noveliss was standing at the crossroads between a new beginning and saying a final goodbye.

“I lost my Grandma and my best friend / And missed the biggest funeral in my fam / To rock a show in Japan (and it damaged me as a man),” he raps on the first verse of “5am in Shibuya,” an introspective standout from his 2018 solo album Cerebral Apex.

“The decision was a tough one to make,” Noveliss admits. “My mom and everyone encouraged me to go and not miss the opportunity. I can honestly say if I don’t go to Japan this album doesn’t happen.”

Three weeks after the August 28 release of Cerebral Apex, Noveliss tweeted: “I just quit my job. Betting on myself for once.”

Another dream decision made, but one that would not only affect his own future but the future of his fiancée and two children. When I asked Noveliss what gave him the guts to exert the plunge, the Detroit-born rapper responded without uncertainty.

“My album is out. It’s been doing really well. People are buying and supporting, so if not now, it’s never,” he says. “It was a hard decision—I’m always wary when taking chances because I have a family that depends on me—but at the same time, it wasn’t. My fiancée believes in me. My family believes in me. I had to make myself happy for once.”

Noveliss shouldn’t be confused as a rash man. He kept a job throughout the eight years he spent rapping, releasing music, and touring as a member of Clear Soul Forces. While the group was able to build up their name and create a strong support system, Noveliss' transition from part-time group member to career solo artist is no easy feat—especially without the assistance of a major label. The separation between rapping and making a living solely off of rapping can be wide as the Grand Canyon. The distance expands when the music made isn’t within rap’s vogue zeitgeist.

Cerebral Apex is a loose concept soundtrack. The music is presented alongside a story—narrated by his fiancée based on a manga Noveliss has been writing over the last two years. It’s like following the storyline of a Final Fantasy video game but only by the audio cut-scenes. On this album, he bet his future.

"Anything I do from here on out, whether I become this huge thing or I don’t, this was the album that gave me the courage to quit my job," he explains. "Cerebral Apex will always be the most special thing I’ve ever done. The first time I ever put any of my writing outside of music and incorporated them into a project. My best friend and business partner wanted me to do an album based on the story, and I was hesitant. I didn’t know if I could do it the way I wanted. The more he pushed me to do it, it kinda happened."

Lyricism is what brought Clear Soul Forces coverage and attention. They were a group of youthful spitters who were hungry to display their abilities behind microphones. Storyline aside, Noveliss digs even deeper on his solo debut, delivering a far more personal work than what could be found on any of his prior projects. The main elements of his artistry are still present—a sagacious writer who brings together the art of storytelling, meditative reflection, and enough pop culture references to satisfy longtime fans in search of clever bars. The production is a throwback to a dustier time; the beats by Nujabes and J Dilla that carried previous projects have been replaced by a team of producers who provide a smooth palette of boom-bap knock and tranquil soul.

Noveliss has the vision to link worlds that capture unique nuances of contrasting cultures. A perfect example is the Acapella-produced “I Gave You Power,” a revamped version of Nas’ 1996 song of the same name but told from the perspective of Marvel’s Infinity Gems instead of a gun. The tribute connects one of hip-hop’s greatest tales with one of the most infamous stories in comic and movie history. Even more so than Marvel’s album cover crossover, the record is a wonderful example of the relationship between these two overlapping cultures.

The music video for the Mega Ran-assisted “B Fine” pays homage to Iron Fist and Luke Cage while “Tales of a Samurai, Pt. II,” another story-driven record, takes three famed anime samurai and depicts their characteristics through distinct imagery.

“When I was in college my favorite class was creative writing,” Noveliss says. “I had this teacher, her name was Mrs. Light. Some days we would start the day with a descriptive essay and by the end of the class, you had to read it out loud. Basically, you had to describe something so well without you saying what it was. That’s what I try to do when I write these stories. I don’t want to say what it is. I figure if I can make it dope enough, [fans] will look it up and see what I’m talking about.”

Given a comic book film adaptation is the highest-grossing movie of the year, hip-hop is the most popular genre in the world, and anime has slowly crossed into North America’s mainstream after years on the cusp of invisibility, Noveliss appears to have set out on his solo voyage at the absolute perfect time. Even against the music industry's stacked deck, the audience is there for Noveliss to win.

For years, Tech N9ne, arguably the most successful independent hip-hop artist of all-time, has repeated the same mantra: “Tech will never go mainstream, mainstream will go Tech.” The saying represents Tech's decision to never conform to the times, with the understanding (and hope) that the times will eventually fold to his will. During my conversation with Noveliss, I thought of Tech. Not because their music is in any way similar, but because of their conviction that, in the end, it will all work out. Artistic pursuit requires the unwavering belief that it's meant to be. After all, that's how dreams come true.

By Yoh, aka Yohmacon, aka @Yoh31 - DJ Booth

"Rap Meets Wrestling: Hip Hop's Favorite WWE WrestleMania Memories"

The worlds of Hip Hop and professional wrestling have been intertwined for years. Whether it’s rappers dropping references in their lyrics or wrestlers using rap gimmicks and entrance music, the two sides have co-mingled quite a bit over the past few decades.

This Sunday (April 7), WWE will host WrestleMania 35 — the biggest wrestling event of the year — at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Ahead of the show, HipHopDX caught up with some of Hip Hop’s most passionate wrestling fans to find out their favorite WrestleMania memories.


“FIRST OF ALL! I don’t talk a lot of shit, but I’m officially gonna start with this wrestling stuff. I am the OG when it comes to this rap-wrestling shit. Been to more Manias, got more commemorative chairs and a song with John Cena to prove it. I’ve even been to sumo matches in Japan. PWG, PCW, Knokx Pro Wrestling. MOTHERFUCKERS DON’T WANNA SEE ME! But I digress …

“It’s hard to pick a favorite, but my first Mania was WrestleMania 2000. I bought four tickets, mid-level. I had enough to buy one floor seat, but I had to share the moment with the homies. I finally had enough rap money to make my childhood dream come true. It was beautiful. And the cherry on top for this lifelong Laker hater was it was the day Chris Childs two-pieced Kobe Bryant; they put it on the big screen.”

Westside Gunn

“My favorite WrestleMania moment, I was there. It was 33 in Orlando, Brock [Lesnar] vs. Goldberg. I always wanted to see Goldberg wrestle, but Brock killed him [laughs] … suplexed him ‘bout 50 times, then Roman Reigns beats Undertaker. At the time, we thought we would never see Undertaker wrestle again because it was an emotional exit. He left his hat in the middle of the ring, but it was a crazy experience, even with the production set up they had to go down a ramp that was about a half mile long. It was fire.”

Mega Ran

“My favorite Mania memory is WrestleMania 4. I wasn’t able to see it live in the flesh, but we watched it via closed circuit TV at the Spectrum in Philly. Watching my favorite wrestler ever, Randy Savage, beat the odds and finally get to the top of the mountain was a moment I’ll never forget. I remember I bought a Savage poster and foam finger that night.”

Esoteric of Czarface

“Savage and [Ricky] Steamboat going head-to-head in WrestleMania 3 was so wild and engaging because at my age then, I considered everything in the WWF to be life or death. My dad knew it was scripted, but he still caved in and got the PPV for me and my friends because, ya know, this was real life to us.

“Months prior, Savage hit Steamboat with the ring bell off the top rope and nearly put him out of wrestling. What really stuck out to me was the storyline’s emphasis on Steamboat’s larynx and the damage done to it. I learned what a larynx was from this feud and when you take terms like intestinal fortitude and solar plexus repeatedly shouted by Gorilla Monsoon, I have to credit wrestling with building my vocabulary. So yeah, the Savage and Steamboat match at WrestleMania 3 was my most anticipated and it delivered!”


“Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan. April Fool’s 1990. I was five years old. Intercontinental Champion vs. World Champion. It’s crazy that I remember so much about it, but it’s probably due to the build-up and promos. There were contract signings and all sorts of things. Ultimate Warrior was, and is, my favorite wrestler of all time. I even titled one of my mixtapes after him.

“That match when he defeated Hogan was probably the height of my fanfare. I had action figures, posters, etc. I was never into comic books or superheroes, but I think that’s the vibe I got from the enigmatic Ultimate Warrior. I think it was the suspended disbelief that this was how this guy, a real person, acted all of the time. Again, I was five years old [laughs] … Side note: I met Hulk Hogan in 2006 outside of Hit Factory in Miami when I was recording for Cash Money.”

Smoke DZA

“My favorite Mania memory is between WrestleMania 8 and WrestleMania 18, both involving Hulk Hogan. When Warrior returned to save Hogan, I remember being in front of the TV losing my mind! That Mania, Macho [Man] ended up winning the belt from [Ric] Flair too; I was emotionally connected to both. Mania 18 was special to me because that was Hulk’s return back to WWE against The Rock – he ended up turning face after that match because the crowd was so invested into him. Made me feel like a kid all over again.”

Wrekonize of ¡Mayday!

“Mine would have to be WrestleMania 6. I was an avid watcher at the time and the matchup between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior was epic. Not sure any matchup ever topped that for me as a kid.”

Noveliss of Clear Soul Forces

“My favorite WrestleMania memory is definitely Jeff Hardy hitting the Swanton Bomb off the ladder on Bubba Ray through the table at WrestleMania 16! That was the height of my childhood wrestling fanaticism, and I was a huge Jeff Hardy fan. I lost my mind. The Hardy Mania moment everyone talks about is Edge spearing Jeff in mid-air at Mania 17, but this was it for me and always will be.”

Sylvan LaCue

“My favorite WrestleMania moment of all time has to be when Daniel Bryan won the whole thing, beating Batista and [Randy] Orton after beating HHH earlier in the same night. For all of us indie fan wrestling lovers that praised Daniel Bryan when nobody would glance in his direction, it was a really rewarding moment.”

Andreas Hale, former Editor-In-Chief of HipHopDX

“It’s quite difficult to choose a single WrestleMania moment considering that I’ve been a fan for literally as long as I can remember. But WrestleMania 5’s main event between Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage solidified my fandom courtesy of some brilliant long-term storytelling, epic promos and a questionable narrative that had the little kid in me raise an eyebrow.

“It was the first time that I felt empathy for the heel as I felt Hogan was being a dirtbag because of how he handled his relationship with Savage and Savage’s ‘valet’ Miss Elizabeth. I thought Savage was the better wrestler and was well within his right to dislike Hogan. Nevertheless, I was invested and was glued to my television set when those two squared off. If I wasn’t a hardcore fan before, that feud that culminated at WrestleMania 5 cemented me as a massive pro wrestling fan.”

Kazeem Famuyide, Wrassle Rap founder & former WWE writer

“My favorite WrestleMania memory ever was WrestleMania 31. I was there with Wale and Emilio Sparks, and it was probably one of the most fun nights of my life. I’ll always remember that night because that’s right before my father got sick and I found out he had cancer. So when you go through terrible times like that, you kind of mythologize how good everything else is before then.

“But that actual night turned into one of the greatest WrestleMania main events of all time. From top to bottom, it was just amazing. Between Daniel Bryan winning the IC title, to Randy Orton catching Seth [Rollins] with the step-up RKO, to Sting vs. HHH, to Rollins cashing in Money in the Bank and stealing the world title.”

DJ Wally Sparks

“My favorite WrestleMania memory is kinda random. But at WrestleMania 18 during the Undertaker vs. Ric Flair match when Arn Anderson sneaks in and hits Taker with a spinebuster ranks way up there for me. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because I grew up on the JCP/NWA/WCW stuff but seeing Flair and AA on that grand stage up to their old Four Horsemen shenanigans really turned the nostalgia up for me. I loved it!”

Alfred Banks

“My Favorite WrestleMania moment is the moment when Jeff Hardy jumped off the ladder at WrestleMania 2000. I remember watching that as a kid and that being the moment where I said, ‘Yeah, I’ma Hardy fan.’ He always put his life in danger to entertain.”

Fat Tony

“Stone Cold vs. The Rock from WrestleMania 17. I haven’t watched wrestling since the late 90s/early 2000s, but I remember this match the most. The Rock and Stone Cold were the biggest stars in the world when I was a kid. This was the ultimate match ‘cause everyone had a favorite between the two. This match probably broke up a few happy homes.”

Kamikaze of Crooked Lettaz

“My favorite WrestleMania moment is WrestleMania 6, hands down. Ultimate Warrior vs. Hogan, the proverbial passing of the torch. Warrior kicked out of the leg drop. I had seen no one in all my early years of watching do that. I had never seen Hogan lose clean.”

Kyle Hubbard

“WrestleMania 20 was the only one I have ever watched with other people. Despite Chris Benoit being my favorite wrestler since the Owen Hart tribute match, I never thought he would main event a Mania. When it happened, I deemed it monumental enough to share with the lapsed fans in my friend group who once shared a similar affinity for the Wolverine. My boys and I popped so hard when Triple H finally tapped that we woke my dad up. Benoit’s body of work gets harder and harder to watch the older I get, but I will always remember sharing my ultimate mark out moment with some of my closest friends with a great fondness.”

Teek Hall

“My favorite moment of WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans was Brock Lesnar beating Roman Reigns. The crowd was intense; they were booing and almost uninterested because they all knew the Big Dog was walking out with the Universal title. Here comes the swerve … after a fifth F5, the Beast won! I jumped up in excitement, and it was so funny to watch and hear that hostile crowd get floored by a finish none of them expected.” - HipHopDX


Toonami Tsunamis

Mic Swordz

Dilla Instinct

Kenjutsu Under The Moonlight

Cerebral Apex



Formerly known as J-Roc, Noveliss is apart of the legendary Hip-Hop collective, Clear Soul Forces. That collective earned themselves a record deal with Fat Beats in the mid 2000's and set the world ablaze with their single "Get No Better". With much success the group was able to perform domestically and soon after the decision was made to seek more experience overseas in Europe!After extensive touring, Noveliss decided he wanted to give fans a piece of himself that they didn’t get to hear in the group. That pursuit quickly paid off and he earned the opportunity to speak at several pop culture events in every corner of the United States.Influenced by his love for everything Nerd culture, the decision to focus on his own brand of Nerdcore was a simple one. His diverse taste, and unique hobbies, fused with his experiences living in the Motor City naturally makes Noveliss one-of-a-kind

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