News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
March 7, 2021
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Beats to Peep: Nappy Roots

By Lisa M. Collins

Happy New Year! Beats to Peep listeners, hope your ears are being treated well  in 2012 thus far.  I have some sonic nuggs from 2011 that should bring you into the new year smoothly. The first album I’m going to discuss is Nappy Roots-Nappy Dot Org. It is a very nice album. Soulful head nodding beats by living legends.

Former Outkast and Goodie Mobb producers Organized Noize keep the album moving at a nice pace. They provide a diverse template of beats for the Nappy Roots to flow over. Their lyrics are uplifting and introspective. Nappy Roots is comprised of five members, each with distinct styles. As a result, there is a nice amount of variability/diversity throughout the songs. Nappy Dot Org–good music from front to back.   If you are going to have a cooled out night with your boys/girls sipping bourbon/mojitos, playing some dominoes/ boggle with a blazing fire/electric fireplace……..then this is the perfect album.  Favorite tracks—Easy Money, Nappy U Here, Congratulations and Legend Lives On.

Second album y’all should look into is Abandoned Lullaby by Icebird. It is an impressive soulful rock album. Icebird is Aaron Livington, a soul/rock singer out of Philadelphia and RJD2 the accomplished DJ and producer. RJD2 is known for his hip hop/electronic sound but on this album he rocks it out.  The songs have a funky rhythm and movement to them;  some roll and little faster than others but they all keep your ears piqued. Touches of hip hop and electronic creep through the underbelly of the album; present but very understated.  Livingston’s  voice has a raspyness and richness that is bluseyesque but modernized. Some have compared them to Gnarles Barkley but I would disagree, they found their own lane on this album. If you want to experience something that is unique yet familiar, peep Abandoned Lullaby. Favorite tracks Just Love Me, Going and Going and Going, Gun For Hire and King Tut

The final album I will be discussing is ASAP Rocky-LiveLoveA mixtape— a new artist out of Harlem. He blends the hyper-confidence of New York rap with the laid-back, unhurried sound of Southern hip hop, specifically Houston. ASAP works with an assortment of producers, who create an atmospheric stoned-out feel akin to a DJ Shadow, Burial, chopped and screwed mashup.  The album has a hypnotic effect; melodic, slurred, textural.

ASAP’s flow has a nice bounce and harmony to it, which perfectly compliments the slowed down terrestrial beats his producers provide. The content of the lyrics can get a bit redundant at times(greatness, realness, fadedness etc) but between the interesting beats and melodic flow, the album is a real enjoyable listen and it’s free at Favorite tracks Wassup, Palace, Purple Swag, Trilla —-Go peep them out!

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