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Linn-Mar Life

The Candy Man Makes Himself Known in the Halls of Linn-Mar

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The Candy Man Makes Himself Known in the Halls of Linn-Mar

Eli Havlik, Contributing Reporter

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He is a varsity basketball player, an aspiring rapper and an entrepreneur of the candy business he started on his own. Nate Rood is a man of many talents and hobbies, and refers to himself as a “visionary”.

He says that out of his three main hobbies that “my business is my biggest success. I have revolutionized the candy game at Linn-Mar and have gotten to connect with so many people because of that.”

Nate’s candy business started in 7th grade back at Excelsior Middle School.

“I feel like every year since then, it has just continued to grow,” says Nate.

Nate is also well known around school for his long braids, which has caused some people to compare him to Post Malone. The braids, Nate says, came out of “a time of complete physical change” where he lost a lot of weight. “The first time, I just put them in and it felt good”. He also claims that the braids have most definitely helped him romantically.

Last year, as a member of the varsity basketball team, Nate and his new braids started receiving some fame from the fans in the stands, more specifically, from away fans. With Nate being the outgoing, spotlight-loving person that he is, he 100 percent embraced the attention.

“I loved it, junior year basketball was probably the highest point of my life so far. I had so much fun getting to travel and getting all of that attention from fans,” says Nate.

Some of his favorite memories of fans yelling at him were when schools like Xavier, Dubuque Senior and many others began chanting “We Want Post!” referring to his braids. Another favorite game for Nate was at Waverly-Shell Rock, when a young fan came up behind our bench during the game and asked him for a picture. Also at Waverly, when the students first saw him, and they began singing I Fall Apart by Post Malone. He says that night really made him feel like a superstar.

When discussing what he brings to basketball on the court, he says “left handed layups are not the best, sometimes layups from either side are a bit shaky. I do bring energy to the team and my shooting.”

He says he wants his biggest critics to know that “I know that I’m not an all-star, but I’ve at least got some skills.”

Nate says that some of his favorite basketball memories came off the court.

“Just the times with the guys like team dinners, bus rides and just talking in the locker room.”

While basketball has made him well-known in other schools and even other cities, what he is most known for at Linn-Mar is his candy business. You can find him walking around school with his school backpack and his candy backpack selling candy in between classes, at lunch, or even during his classes if people want the product.

He says he never had any intentions of his business getting as big as it is now.

“It all just happened naturally. I started selling gum out of my locker in middle school, then I started taking orders for people and bringing whatever candy they wanted to school. Then in high school, I just started bringing the candy bag and that is when it really took off,” he says. He also attributes a lot of his candy success to his basketball teammates because of how much they buy during away games, but also for spreading the word about him to the rest of the school. There were some basketball games where he says he would make roughly $50.

At this time, Nate is not willing to share his business model, but he went on record saying “I, Nathan Michael Rood, have never stolen candy in any fashion in my lifetime.”

Despite all of the time he invests into basketball and his business, he has still found time to record 94 songs for his career as a rapper. He has been working on his first album for about a year now, and is deciding which of his 94 songs will be on his first CD.

“The reason it is taking so long is because I want to make all of the songs on the album perfect.” This is because Nate says he wants to release a “masterpiece.”

He also says he wants to make it very clear that he is not a Post Malone knock-off, and that he is his own person and has his own musical style.

“I am very diverse musically. I have feels songs, happy songs and more turn up songs. You can compare me to a lot of artists, but at the end of the day, I’m just my own person.”

If the listeners are lucky, he may drop a single titled “Bruce Lee” very soon to show what he is capable of before the upcoming album. While recording this album, Nate has been trying to find his official name as an artist. Right now, he is looking at either “N8” or “lil Rood.” Once he has decided on his rapper name, he plans to release some Nate Rood merchandise in addition to the album.

When it comes to his favorite nickname at school, Nate says he does not care. People usually call him Post, Candy Man or simply just Rooder/Roodster. He loves having the recognition that comes with all of the nicknames. As soon as his nicknames were brought up, he immediately reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out his business cards that read “Nate ‘Post Malone Candyman’ Rood.”

“I think that I am known to so many different people, and different nicknames so I am not picky so you can call me whatever.”

While it may seem that Nate has it all going for him with sports, business and music, he suffered a knee injury this summer. Nate dislocated his kneecap playing basketball, and had to get surgery to get it put back into place.

“I needed surgery to put it back into its place, and to tighten up the tendons in my knee to stop it from slipping again,” he says. After the original injury and surgery, Nate was cleared to play again this upcoming January, but Nate had other plans in mind. “I was feelin good, ya know” he said when referring to him returning to basketball activities a whole two months before being cleared. Unfortunately, on Nate’s first day back to basketball activity, he once again dislocated his kneecap on his first layup. “I blew my @#$% out again.” That was not the only setback. Nate cannot get surgery to repair his knee until February because of another health scare from this summer.

Nate says he had fluid buildup in his lung from a blood clot.

“After I got knee surgery this summer, I got a blood clot in there, so I had to go to the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. It was very bad.”

Nate says he was waiting for the worst.

“I thought I was going to die.”

Throughout all this, the Candyman has remained mostly positive.

“It’s kinda just my life, I’m just one of a kind.”

He says he thinks of his life as a rollercoaster of ups and downs with all of his successes, but also all of the things he has had to overcome. Nate seems to be known by many people at Linn-Mar, but wishes that he had more connection with some.

“A lot of people know me, but I might not know them, so I try to make it my goal to try to know everyone on a personal level.”

He also thinks that many times he may be misunderstood, and he just wants people to know that “I am just here to have fun and not have problems with anybody.”

He says he really does not care what the people at school think of him because he is “just doing my thing regardless of what they think.”

In the future, Nate has many routes he is currently looking at post-high school. One of these is as a farmer who runs a dispensary of marijuana in a legal state.

The reason Rood has such a hard time deciding what he will be doing in his future is because “I’m not great at one thing, but I have a lot of things that I am good at.” He says he knows that college is not for him and he will not be pursuing a degree. Sadly for Linn-Mar High School, the candy business will be coming to an end when the Candyman graduates this spring.

 

 

 

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