And we’re back in Detroit. It’s refreshing to visit on a proud contemporary note. To be blunt, this is anti-bubblegum. This is anti-colorful braids. This is anti-incoherancy. This is what some, or most, may consider much closer to raw hip-hop‘s purest contemporary form. You know, that Onyx meets MOP meets Lord Finesse meets Nujabes type of sound. That’s quite the pot to stir but a damn welcomed sound in 2017.
If you’re new to Nolan the Ninja, he is in his early twenties. He’s pretty hard to ignore, as his presence is quite literally demanded on record. In the past year life has been kind to him. Linking up with the promising imprint Left of Center and releasing multiple projects last year, one being his official debut, was a success. Keeping up with him on social media has been invigorating – quick to update his followers which seasoned veteran he has met or larger stages he’s rocked. That being said, you should keep your eye on the young shooter. The work ethic, authenticity and professionalism alone was impressive for such a young artist. Oh, and range.
Nolan isn’t coming up short on the hardware either, dropping off his self-produced “14K” here at RESPECT. Mag. It’s not too far off from what we’d expect Nolan to produce – simple head nodder, evident lo-fi boom-bap influence. The first half of 14K may be a bit jazzier than we’re used to (see previous releases). Opening the record with vulnerable lyrics is a home run. The widespread and shared struggle of young 20-something’s looking for financial security, consistency and a smile on their grandma’s face. More than a smile, a hypothetical 14 carat trophy of sorts. Nolan recently sat down with HuffPost and added:
When I started working on YEN, “14K” was the first song that I made. It helped lay the foundation for the direction that I wanted to go in. After releasing my debut album last year, I’ve been blessed to be a part of things that was just a mere dream not too long ago. Because of that, my goals have become bigger. On the track, I said “I’m trying to get a Grammy to Granny before she transcends”. I wasn’t thinking like that before. It’s all about progression and going for yours. Gold is associated with the idea of high achievement. As kids, we all wanted a gold star in school. So that’s what it’s about. Executing for what you seek. I want the “gold” for not only me but my people.
Stream the single a million times and do be prepared for Nolan’s sophomore effort ‘YEN’. It’s due out in the second half of September via Left of Center/Fat Beats (the 22nd to be exact). You have our full co-sign and stamp of approval for the record. If you’re on the fence but easily influenced by bomb features, let’s look at a few of the guest artists – Royce Da 5’9″, Blu, Quelle Chris. I shouldn’t have to keep going. The pre-order links are right below this sentence. Peace and love.
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