Sunday, August 8, 2010

B-Sides (Review) - Nesby Phips.

(All songs produced by Nesby Phips unless noted)

1. Aircraft Carrier | 2:01 | 3.5 - 3.75 (Produced by Sara)
2. Easy Peasey Japanesey | 3:03 | 3.5 - 4 (Produced by DJ Maxmillion)
“Plots getting thicker, I’m seeing the antagonist / Could you please step off the table with your dragon breath.” Reminds me of a Curren$y-lite here, especially with the nice Prioritize reference here.
3. Early Bird | 2:47 | 3.25 - 3.5 (Produced by DJ Maxmillion)
“And I don’t land unless you meet my demands / Simply lemonade, two call mic dope sound man.” The production grows dull though, even with the rumbling guitars.
4. Real Playas (Toughen Up) (Featuring Kosher Beatz) | 3:47 | 3.25 - 4 (Produced by Lazy Mane)
“Advanced eloquent / Tell him about that man whose gripping mic stands with that elephant.”
5. Say My Name (Featuring Side A) | 3:01 | 4 - 4.25
6. Inside Lookin Out | 2:52 | 4 - 4.5 (Produced by Ski Beatz)
“I try to walk it like I talk it, in a jesus fashion.”
7. Toughpills (Featuring Don Cannon) | 1:51 | 4 - 4.25 (Produced by Pete Rock)
Exactly what does the Don Cannon ad-libs have to do with the song?
8. The Avowal | 2:48 | 4 - 4.5
“Keep it consistent like beans and rice.”
9. 3 The Hard Way (Featuring Rugz D. Beweler & Da$h) | 4:30 | 3.75 - 4
The production and Phips just overshadows everyone else.
10. Midnight Oil (Featuring Jon Mecure) | 7:07 | 4 - 4.5 (Produced by Jon Mecure)
The production is just plain ridiculous.
11. Word To These Bo Jacksons | 2:34 | 4 - 4.5
I’m still not sure what the shoe has to do with the song.

Overall: 41.25 - 45.75 | 75 - 83% | 3.95 / 5 | Solid; few major reservations; TRY IT

I really can’t put words to this mixtape that’s practically an album.

Nesby Phips has had a definite steady rise, and it really helps that he’s affiliated with the Bluroc / Creative Control line of artists, since the influence of rapping contemporaries Wiz Khalifa, Tabi Bonney, and especially, Curren$y has had quite an effect on his rapping skills. I was first introduced to Nesby Phips on the Curren$y track Mazaltov, and while a respectable production, it really wasn’t enough to get me interested in Nesby Phips as the artist. Time continued on, and my eyes and ears had perked interest, especially with the tracks after that, such as the addicting Supply, off Wiz Khalifa’s Kush & Orange Juice, or Tabi Bonney’s Radio. Again, respectable tracks, but it still wasn’t really registering on my radar, but yet, time soon followed on.

However, the huge moment came when I listened to Prioritize (Beeper Bill), off Curren$y wonderful album, Pilot Talk. The bed of wailing synths, and the simple percussion was heaven upon my ears, and Nesby Phips guest verse truly cemented his spot in my “hot rappers buzz list.” When this mixtape came out, I quickly snapped it up.

After listening to this mixtape several times, it’s definite Curren$y has had quite an influence upon the rising rappers lyrics, with Nesby Phips subconsciously making references to the ordinary, the unordinary, and the everything else in between. Nesby Phips, much like his contemporary cannot stay on one subject for too long, discussing topics such as his cementing in the rap society, making ladies say his name, trying to boast a little bit, or really, just plain anything that sets in his mind. Nesby Phips is definitely a headphones rapper, considering you have to listen to what he says in order to follow. That listening is also rewarded, with strokes of genius, and some of these genius quotes have been posted up to show you.

While Nesby Phips lyrics may sometimes may not register in peoples minds, it’s obvious that Nesby Phips knows his true calling is his production skills. While affiliates Sara, Ski Beatz, DJ Maxmillion, Pete Rock (Very, very surprising) and Jon Mercure certainly don’t slack on their guest spots, it’s definitely Nesby Phips own production that steals the show, and made my decision of this. Say My Name is a minimalist bass-heavy, vocal sampling track that sharply contrasts with the subject matter. The Avowal shows the commanding strings that dominate the track, with some small percussion tidibits keeping tempo. 3 The Hard Way flips a soul sample a la Madlib, and uses that sample throughout the track, and Word To These Bo Jacksons uses more strings and violins, giving off an almost-paranoid atmosphere, as Nesby Phips just asserts himself more. The production is truly some of the best I’ve heard all year, and it really makes me fiend for more of his work.

Nesby Phips is someone you can’t really describe, considering his production and lyrical palettes go all around the place. Yet, that’s one of the best things about this mix-album. The complete randomness of Nesby Phips lyrics, whether comparing his lyrical presence to an elephant, or plainly stating that this rap stuff is “easy peasey japaneasy,” it’s certainly a creative, and interesting artistic message Nesby is providing here. Simply, a great mixtape, that leaves many opportunities for the newcomers and the previous fans to savor.

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