Hey man, sorry it’s been a while since reviews. Passion driven things can drop in priority when condensing your daily routine into importance. I’ve been making weekly playlists for radio for the past 8 consecutive years, so I decided to start writing about some of the things I pick up on the way. It’s not always whose hot, whose doing what, it’s just fucking about digging through digital records.
I accidentally wandered away from traditional hiphop some time after 2000. I held in for the long haul, as a kid it was Young MC then the KRS era hit hard through to WuTang, then through the Lootpack/Madlibs and on to Defjux/Rhymesayers times, for my entire life there was always something to bite into. But it felt there was nothing after that, I tried picking up new albums from old artists, shit was stale. I tried everything from Snowgoons to rappers with Lil in their name, nothing felt the same. I ended up buying instrumentals of rap albums and making do. What did catch my ear was the beats that were coming out without rappers, they were evolving and getting harder and heavier filling in the void from the bygone rap era. Then came the LA Beat-scene; that pretty much had me hostage for the next few years. Even upon hearing Action Bronson, Odd Future, Kendrick, Run The Jewels I was into it.. but it didn’t get me like it was in the Lootpack days. It’s not until 2015 with the rising popularity of the cassette release labels that have I been struck by hiphop again. No, its not some hipster fascination with archaic technology, its that in the creating an album for cassette it has far less rules and boundaries than an the intention behind a digital MP3 digital download. Cassettes are associated with the mixtape and its on mixtapes where (historically) rappers can freestyle, bootleg instrumentals and generally do what they please with no predefined rules. That tape mentality creates a petrie dish of creative expansion, hence; cassette labels hold the freedom to be able to break us free from monotony.
I could open up by cut n pasting some other articles about this release but I’m not gonna. I think I had the paragraph above to explain, I’m sorry, I don’t know who these cats are! This is a review based upon no prior knowledge of Nickelus F & Shawn Kemp. Listening to these raps (as a 34yo man) can be quiet cringy, the whole nigga/bitch/hoe thing ya know? But when that boom bap hits, fuck it, I’m all in, the whole family sings along on the way to school, my boy jumps out and slaps Mrs Johnson on the ass and keeps strutting. Shawn Kemp (White Iverson, Post Malone, whose next?) delivers like the mailman. The opening track had the resurgence of boom bap, but it was in no way a era based piece, it was still fresh as Arran Milk. As quickly as the opener disappears, we aren’t hit with the same shit.. its switched up, I’m immediately drawing parallels between bone thugs; the tracks name is Da Reaper and its infectious on a quarantine level, this is one of my top tracks of the year. The album trails off into an esoteric off kilter blend, in short; it gets weird and thats a good thing. Edit: I read some stuff, apparently Shawn Kemp is Lil Ugly Mane and he seems to already by known by everyone but me. Nickelus F is Nick Fury… and thats my cut n paste insert…. ok. See you next time eh.
You can hear this album open The Digs radio show September #1.