Dallas rapper Nate Joubert, also known as Nature Nate, isn’t sure who laced a blunt he was smoking with PCP, and he’s really not concerned with finding out. The 20-year-old has his suspicions, but for the last nine months his primary focus has been regaining his mental health since inadvertently smoking the drug in January.
“I started going crazy. I became disturbed,” Joubert says. “Everybody was telling me I wasn’t myself. I didn’t have any control and my parents eventually put me in the hospital.”
During the two-week episode, Joubert says he hardly slept, hardly ate and couldn’t stop talking. “I just didn’t feel like I was in reality,” Joubert says. It began with small behaviors, like constantly talking during movies, but he became increasingly erratic. His girlfriend grew concerned about his behavior but initially assumed it was just stress stemming from his burgeoning music career.
When his parents started growing concerned about their son, they tried to keep him at home, but Joubert would become stir crazy and leave the house to walk aimlessly for miles, forcing his parents to spend hours trying to track him down. A drug test discovered traces of PCP lingering in his system.
His parents took him to the hospital, and after the evaluation the staff checked him into Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. He stayed there just short of two weeks, on medication and under close observation. In early February, he was cleared to go home, but he still experiences migraines, bouts of dizziness and cloudiness.
“I still don’t feel 100 percent normal. I feel like I have a little cloud over my head,” Joubert says. “Eventually you get used to not feeling well all the time.”
PCP, or phencyclidine, is known to have side effects including hallucinations, delirium and mania. A moderate amount of PCP often causes users to feel detached, distant and estranged from their surroundings, according to Drug Enforcement Administration fact sheets.
Joubert says he damaged most of the relationships he'd developed in the music scene but he's hoping he'll be given another shot, given he was on the cusp of genuine success at the time he had his breakdown.
Coming into the fall of 2015, Joubert had a buzz surrounding him after a couple years of well-received mixtapes and working with loads of artists in Dallas' underground hip-hop scene.
He performed alongside Devy Stonez, G.U.N., Pat Ron and Sleazy Ease, and used his keen sense of social media to develop a loyal following. Months before Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Hillary Clinton were dabbing, Joubert noticed the dance move from Atlanta that would eventually sweep the nation on YouTube and Vine.
To capitalize on it, he laid down earnest verses on a minimalist beat produced by Campion Bond and titled it “Dallas And Beyond,” using the acronym DAB to promote it. Joubert was confident he had a hit on his hands. To promote it, he reached out to one of his favorite internet-based comedy groups, Leansquad. He emailed the group’s members for days and eventually they each responded with praise.
Leansquad decided to make a video centered around the song that has since earned over 700,000 views. In the first week of its release, “Dallas And Beyond” earned 4,000 streams, but the week after Leansquad’s promotion it exceeded 100,000 streams and the group’s hundreds of thousands of fans flocked to Nature Nate. Today the song has over a million streams.
While “Dallas And Beyond” was taking off, Joubert made plans to work with one of Lil Wayne’s artists, Lil Twist. That connection was helping him to develop a network in Los Angeles. The sky seemed like the limit, but just before anything concrete happened, his manic episode brought everything to a halt.
“That’s where I’m at now. I’m just trying to rebuild my connects and see what’s mendable and what’s broken,” Joubert says. “I still haven’t told many people what happened. I got a new phone too, so I have no idea who’s been hitting me up.”
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After re-establishing relationships with close friends and re-enrolling in college, Joubert has recommitted himself to music, but it’s going to be a long climb to get back where he was. During his manic period, Joubert’s Twitter and email accounts were deactivated. For days, Joubert tweeted hysterically about Illuminati, sent hundreds of emails to his contacts and made dozens of pestering, inconvenient phone calls.
Two weeks ago he reactivated his Twitter account in the first steps of his comeback. After starting a new SoundCloud account, he released an EP he recorded in January, called Relevant Soul, and two brand-new tracks, “Holy” and the aptly titled “The Reemergence.”
“It was devastating for things to be like that, but I don’t want to be a sob story and I couldn’t stop making music,” Joubert says. “I just had to take control of my life again and now I’m back.”