OK, let’s get straight to it. I’m a fan of that street shit. That hungry, “let’s go get it” vibe. I like my shit straight to the point. The beats on this joint, good. The lyrics… fast, strong delivery.
TagUm – Smoked (1/2 Pound) (Datpiff)
OK, let’s get straight to it. I’m a fan of that street shit. That hungry, “let’s go get it” vibe. I like my shit straight to the point. The beats on this joint, good. The lyrics… fast, strong delivery. Look… it’s quite obvious you got skills. You got rhymes, man. But after the 4th track of being able to predict when the words “nigga” and “shit” are gonna show up, I was seriously looking for improvement. For something. Anything. See, it doesn’t matter to me. I listen to Gucci Mane… man, it helps me relax. Use the Migo flow. Choose beats that sound close to what’s hot right now. Do it. I dare you. But bring something different to the table, man.
I get it. You’re smoking. You’re proud of yourself. Bitches, money… cool. Well guess what? Christmas is right around the corner. Get a dictionary. Get some books. Do something, because you’ve gotta move forward. Style is not enough. Rhyming fast, sure it sounds cool, but what else can you do? Can you make one record without using the word nigga? Or shit? Or bitch? And see, this isn’t a result of a lack of ability. It’s easy–I know, because I do this, man. And believe it or not, I’ve been there. Unless you’re member of Bone Thugs, you cannot be lazy when it comes to this. You’re the kinda guy I like to have come to radio, so I can watch you think when you realize on live radio you can’t curse or use the N-word. And because you lose access to those easily malleable syllables (double consonants, the gift, curse, and crutch of the average “rapper”) you end up either sounding like you don’t know what you’re doing, or you discover something about your talent, and more importantly about yourself–AND USE IT.
I really liked this project, but after about 6 tracks of the same ol’ shit, it began to wear on me. It’s so empty. And rich with potential. My advice, dear reader, is to just listen to track 2. And no, not because it’s called “Black,” but because it’s this whole project in 2:13. And for you, dear rhymer, I’ll put it in your language: “When I heard it yo I liked it/but this nigga shit ain’t right when/I know this nigga know/that his shit it could enlighten…” (make sure you read that fast over and over again, over as much bass as possible)
Happy. That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I heard this. This guy, with his high-pitched voice and his synth beats and percussion, sounds happy. The self proclaimed “God Boy” is talented. Let’s get that out the way. Not on a God level, but not on a Boy level either. As dude in The Wire said: “Big Paws.” Matter of fact, I once ran into this kid at Epic Fest at Broadberry where he killed, I believe it was “93′ Til Infinity,” right there on stage. It was great. I was like, “Where did this thing come from? Where are his parents?” All jokes aside though, I’m not gonna knock this guy for being creative, and doing him throughout his project. The best track, in my opinion, was “Dark Humor” ft Manny Wellz, because it was the least stylistically overbearing record on here. He really seemed comfortable, confident even, but not overconfident.
What it boils down to, though, is the question I ask myself every time I listen to anything. “Is this your chamber?” For me, no. I respect it–I think this guy is pretty damn good. Even though he sounds like a pair of Skinny Jeans, I felt like he made a good effort on every track–something a lot of, shall we say, “young MC’s” don’t do these days. More importantly, he is having fun and expressing himself, in a mostly positive way, and I say no matter what my opinion could be, good or bad, in today’s youth that’s a great thing. So keep pushing, Niko, and when your voice changes let me know, because I’m sure no matter what direction you go, it will be from the heart.
Known as the hardest-working man in RVA hip hop, Black Liquid hosts two local radio shows–Thursday nights 11pm-1am on WDCE 90.1 FM, and Saturday nights (aka Sunday mornings) 1am-3am on WRIR 97.3 FM–organizes the bi-monthly Face Melt Fridays at Strange Matter, and teaches creative writing to 7th and 8th graders at Sabot at Stony Point School. He’s also a prolific emcee, having released nearly two dozen mixtapes either as a solo artist or with his compatriots in The New Juice Crew over the past several years. Download his new album, Title, as well as his considerable back catalog, at NoiseTrade.