Born and raised in West Oakland’s notorious Acorn housing projects Shady Nate spent his youth surrounded by violence, drug dealings, and robberies. At the age of five Shady Nate would begin writing his thoughts and daily experiences down in a journal. These entries soon became full length poems and eventually would become the classic lyrics he raps today. After entering High School Shady Nate met and formed a friendship with his now longtime friend and mentor Lil Dame. Lil Dame who was also an aspiring rapper began teaching Nate the skills necessary to properly write lyrics and create full length songs. Growing up in the nineties provided Shady Nate with a classic soundtrack of music from such artists as Too Short, The Luniz and 3x Crazy. The independent business sense each of these artists possessed also served as a business model Shady Nate would implement later on in life when he launched his own record label Livewire Records.