Grammy Winning Producer Nascent Explores Childhood and Creativity in New Album ‘Don't Grow Up Too Soon’

With a production resume featuring SZA, Chance the Rapper, and Ye, Nascent talks to BET about being inspired by reflections on his younger self.

Mexican-American and Chicago-based producer Nascent (Christopher Ruelas) has a stacked production resume. Though he’s turned out hits for megastars like SZA, Chance The Rapper, Ye (formerly Kanye West), and 50 Cent, two particular artists pushed his creativity to new limits. 

“I have fun with everyone that I work with,” explained Nascent. I think Jordan Ward and Orion Sun. I have so much fun working with them. They really bring out my world in the best way, and they’re just my real-life friends. It makes it easier and fun.” 

Those two are featured on the Grammy Award-winning producer’s recently released album Don’t Grow Up Too Soon. Interestingly enough, the idea for the 18-track project came after Nascent saw footage of himself as a child after getting his first golden gramophone for Ye and The Weeknd collaboration “Hurricane” featuring Lil Baby.

“When I saw the footage for the first time, it was a little moment of sadness in the sense that I hadn’t seen myself in that version since I was that age,” said Nascent. “It was almost like I forgot about that inner child. It just brought up a whole bunch of memories and things I had to deal with.” 

Following some self-reflection alongside a conversation with his parents about those feelings, he began working on Don’t Grow Up Too Soon. In the follow-up to his 2021 project Minus The Bullsh**t Life’s Great, he incorporated more of live jam sessions that he started doing. 

“I definitely heard an evolution of growth of just sonically where I could go,” Nascent explained. “Also with the arrangement, the sequencing of the album because that’s such an important detail that producers and artists should always focus on. When you can curate that and get it right, it becomes a moment we’ll never forget.”

Notorious Noise

Nascent returns with many artists featured on Minus The Bullsh**t Life’s Great, including Jordan Ward, Orion Sun, DUCKWRTH, Saba, and BJ The Chicago Kid. This time, they are joined by an additional guest list, which includes Ab-Soul, Mereba, SAILOR GOON, and more. Singles like the DUCKWRTH, Saba guested “Don’t Check 4 Me,” and Big Brown Eyes with Orion Sun display Nascent’s musical science. One of Nascent's favorites from the project is “He Got The Gas,” featuring Jordan Ward and Atlanta rapper Rizz Capolatti, known for his more trap-inspired tracks. 

“It’s one of my favorite songs I produced musically,” said Nascent. I love the message and juxtaposition of Rizz hopping on a song with hip-hop drums, violins, and piano."

He recently dropped the “Spinnin These Blocks” video featuring BJ The Chicago Kid, Maxo Kreme, and Paul Wall. Don’t Grow Up Too Soon has Nascent choosing to work with artists who complement his world. According to Nascent, working with artists with whom he’s built years-long relationships alongside new collaborators is cool. Jordan Ward wasn’t in the same space in 2021 as the superstar in 2024. Even the graceful evolution of Paul Wall is something he’s appreciated. 

“I worked with people that I worked with on the album regularly but also met new people that I wanted to work with,” said Nascent. There were a lot of people that I always wanted to work with through life experiences and relationships. I was able to actually get to them in an organic way, too. I didn't want to force the issue.”

Nascent hopes that after listening to Don’t Grow Up Too Soon, listeners will gain more courage and be less afraid to confront their darker aspects. According to Nascent, the oil painting, designed by French artist Allleuu, symbolizes those challenges through a monster inside a sandbox while a kid plays. 

“This album is me going through the healing process but it’s for everyone because we all have s**t that we deal with,” explained Nascent. “You can’t run from it and everyone will have to deal with it at some point at some level. Obviously, some more than others but we all have that little monster in that shadow.” 

At one point in his life, Nascent faced many musicians' challenges in simply making a living while gaining equity and ownership in music publishing. This shift marked a new phase where he emphasized transparency and supporting others over personal profit. Reflecting on his legacy, he mentions his biggest influence, Dr. Dre.

“I want to be able to connect with younger artists, help them with their career and still be able to have more resources to help,” said Nascent. “It’s this energy that’s going in one direction and it’s just the beginning.”

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