|Add Date:||2017-07-20|| ||Pull Date:||2017-09-21|| ||Charts:||Hip-Hop|
|Week Ending:||17 Sep||3 Sep||20 Aug||13 Aug||6 Aug||30 Jul||23 Jul|
Young Chicago rapper Noname delivers a short but excellent Soundcloud album of soulful, socially engaged rap. It's mellow, organic, catchy, and unafraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. But it easily avoids feeling corny or simplistic by keeping a loose/casual feeling, refraining entirely from easy preachiness, and being unafraid of complexity and darkness. Sounds like a bunch of very talented friends hanging out and making the music they want to hear. True school sensibilities with modern adventurous production values. Vocals are Noname rapping unless otherwise noted.
RIYL: Apani B. Fly, a female Chance The Rapper or Joey Bada$$, Daedelus' old team ups with rappers
FCCs: 4 (other tracks edited where necessary)
split review, lionel hutz did the first half, kandy did the second half. kandy's favorites noted with stars (10, 6).
lionel hutz recommends: 8, 5, 1, 6, 7, any, all are great
1. (3:09) Yesterday - synth squiggles and mellow piano fade up, shuffling drum break kicks in, quick observational conversational rhymes, not frantic, but a bit of anxious edge. low humming gospel-ish vox provide atmosphere throughout. melodies shift and tumble over one another throughout.
2. (2:42) Sunny Duet (ft. theMIND) - slightly warbly mellow piano plinks, strutting med tempo drum loop, finger snaps and woodblocks, drums occasionally halting. breezy twisting raps, upbeat mood and trading off with male background vox like the title implies. narrative and conversation and free association meld together. ends on a few bars of background vox and sparse melody.
3. (3:28) Diddy Bop (ft. Raury & Cam O'bi) - dusky keys, steady lo-fi drum loop, growlying moog-y bassline comes in after a while. bumps pretty good. nostalgic neighborhood reminisces, melodic double-time male raps on the bridge, sung male vox for a bit towards the end.
4. (FCC, buried "fuck" throughout and other random stuff, safe harbor only) (4:00) All I Need (ft. Xavier Oma r) - descending synth line sounds like the notes are sample and run backwards, bells, thick sparse bassline, knocking skeletal drum machine loops. mellow slightly resigned/hesitant raps trade off with occasional sung male vox.
5. (3:03) Reality Check (ft. Eryn Allen Kane & Akenya) - Upbeat, faster than most of the rest of the album, ascending synth bassline under bright bells, oohs and ahs on backup vox. quick confident defiant raps, sung female vox doing short mini-verses where the hooks would be. piano runs and complementary synth lines come in buried in the mix toward the end.
6. **(3:19) Freedom Interlude - Noname's slam poetry vocals on soulful organ chords, claps, and tambourine. Includes excerpt of Nina Simone documentary with Peter Rodis "Nina: An Historical Perspective"
7. (1:51) Casket Pretty - Brief song of police brutality layered over playful baby crib mobile and baby coo sounds
8. (3:39) Forever (ft. Ravyn Lenae & Joseph Chilliams) - Lyrics envisioning a world where pure positivity and thought can defeat poverty layered over a beat that reminded me of N64 Super Mario. Ravyn Lenae's sings a Disney -princess-sounding hook.
9. (2:49) Bye Bye Baby - Noname writes on abortion from a healing and loving perspective. The music is light-hearted like track 7 and 8 with baby sounds.
10. ***(5:11) Shadow Man (ft. Saba, Smino & Phoelix) - A song of death and mortality and wishing peaceful rest to those who have lost their lives at the hands of state violence. Jazzy R&B sway with a beautiful hook sung with a gospel feel.