Back in the warmer months my peeps Ryan and Renee were on the deck, on a Sunday, while I was grilling. During which the subject of hip-hop came up and the debate raged. Who’s better? Biggie or Pac? Who’s the best Wu-Tang MC? Did Kim write her own rhymes and so on. As he departed, he mentions to me that he’s going to send me a few tracks to listen to so he could get an old-head’s perspective. “Word? Okay, Dope ... No doubt! Here’s my email.”, I said. Nevertheless, he sent me the tracks and I wrote a short piece ( http://hedonisticrantings.blogspot.com/2014/08/hip-hop-isnt-dead-its-just-being-held.html ), well 1.5 paragraphs. In the interim I’ve since received the entire track-listing and tracks for the forthcoming LP -- Ryan (Slo Chem) is a man of his word. So here we go...
Let me kick it off by saying for a new, relatively unknown, crew the production is pretty damn good throughout the majority of the album; it’s far more crisp and polished from the original product I received. One would be able to tell that these kids put a ton of time into getting it right. I somewhat enjoyed the intro to the album, but I couldn’t escape the feeling that it gave me. Perhaps it is just me but it felt the MC was rushing through track as if the vocals are in contention with the beat. Don’t get me wrong as these kids can MC and have a genuine grasp on how to construct a song. They aren’t on that Migos, Chief Keef trap/drill bullshit, the guys can really flow. Take the track “Light it up” dope hook, excellent production, and well above-average flow. They hit the nail on the head and it should be the lead single and followed-up by “Parking Lot Kisses” for the ladies and simps of the listening community -- it’s truly a dope track. But as De La Soul and The Native Tongues would say, “HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE” [ Ref: Buddy / 3 Feet High and Rising], then we have a track like “Torn” that makes you put your Grey Goose and Pineapple down and say “What the fuck just happened?!”, the track sounds misguided and chaotic. I cram to understand where they were going with the production AND flow. *sighing* But wait, there are also fun tracks like as “Border Jumping” which needs more bass for more dynamics and “Paula Deen” which is an original title for an original jam. I have to say they’ve blessed us with a track titled “Changes” which would be the byproduct if “99 Problems” and any of Odd Future’s recordings had a love child which is a good thing.
So, after extensive listening I would conclude NSF (Cold Conscience and Slo Chem) has given the hip-hop community a solid effort. I don’t like putting stars and numbers on shit, either the record is good or it’s trash. Period. Some tracks are better than others, and then others are far better others ( “TORN” / “WAKE UP”) but you gotta start somewhere, right? Look, from what i heard this album is better than a lot of the bullshit they’re playing on WPGC and Hot 97 in New York. These cats with some more hard work are gonna go far and I’m gassed to know I’m ground-level with them.
Update: Ryan's partner and co-collaborator is a young joker named Cold Conscience who plays the bass guitar and is an MC