PremRock released a new EP yesterday and it’s called Who Art In Nada. The EP (it’s technically “album length” but being promoted as an EP release) features a few remixes from people like Willie Green, Uncommon Nasa, Dr. Quandary, and Zilla Rocca among others. The album is free of charge but definitely use the “Name Your Price” option to show some support.
The album is also being promoted with a video for the song “Rod Stewart” and is the track about ol’ Roderick? Find out and see where PremRock takes you.
If you picked up Uncommon Nasa’s album last summer called New York Telephone (my review of which can be read by clicking here), you saw that it came out on cassette or maybe you downloaded it and liked it a lot but hoped it would be out on vinyl. No luck then but now, it’s being pressed up for release in early April. It’s on blue vinyl, similar to the cover of the cover, and it’s available for pre-ordering by going here. On top of that, the vinyl pressing will come with code where you’ll be able to download instrumental and acapella mixes of the songs on the album, plus seven new remixes. Get to some serious mixing with that or simply kick back and listen to it all.
Gajah worked with Uncommon Nasa for his new album Hands Of Gold Are Always Cold and the end result (or at least one of the end results) is a nice song offering “The Grands”. If you’d like to hear more from this album, it is available through Bandcamp.
On a side note, I like that Ma-Bell T-shirt Uncommon Nasa has for sale. Go get that if you can.
This is a good hip-hop album because Uncommon Nasa goes all over the place musically and lyrically. I don’t mean he’s rapping offbeat or just saying things that are random or abstract in a Cappadonna fashion, but it reminds me of a time when Kool Keith, Jungle Brothers, and J-Zone could come up with a wide assortment of different things and it would take the listener to find a way to tie it all together. Uncommon Nasa takes things back to a certain place and time with New York Telephone and with a title that refers to a dead technology, it sets you into the world when all hip-hop seemed endless and fearless.
It feels like a basement album, the type of music you can sense was written in the kitchen or basement, writing everything down with rough drafts down by his feet, only for him to be surrounded by the equipment and get deep into the project. It feels like an album we all used to fall in love with because while it had a raw feel, it sounded perfect. Just to be able to hear a drum snare here, a bass stab there, and a cowbell that would make you go “I KNOW WHERE THAT CAME FROM!” is what made your day, week, or month. “1999 seems like a long time ago” is what he talks about in “Feedback Loop”, where he reflects on what life was like before 9/11, and how it felt as if his youth ended that day, or at least it was a way for him and many others to grow up when they weren’t ready.
Even if some of the tracks may come off as spontaneous, there is a continuity throughout, one that has Uncommon Nasa merely saying “stay with me and ride to the finish line”. There may not be a direct moral to the story, it may be an assortment of stories but perhaps reaching the finale, it’s about experiencing something in full, knowing that you felt good and want to put that in your back pocket to enjoy it again.
You may have recently read a story about Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who was harassed by police officers to the point where he was unable to breathe, which lead to his death. Uncommon Nasa wanted to touch on this and he made a song about it called “We Living In These Dark Times”. While the sample in question, King Crimson’s “Epitaph”, is slightly different from how I also used it years ago, it is meant to tell a story to insure its message gets across, and I feel it does. Have a listen.
Uncommon Nasa’s Land Of The Way It Is is a slight throwback to the days when rappers and producers made an emphasis on well written and spoken lyrics and words, and deep production that wasn’t assembled from what everyone else was doing or wanted to be accessible. “Pasta w/ Butter” is a nice and funky song that touches on the struggles many of us have to deal with in order to make it in troubled times, while “My Ego’s Big” is about the attitudes we all tend to carry, even though we don’t have to. Aeon Grey and Elucid help out with their attitudes, creating a movement of smacks and cracks. The only time the album gets weak is in the final song, “The Future”, and with a title like that I expected things to be wrapped up nicely but for me, it didn’t, thus becoming the only flaw I could sense from Land Of The Way It Is, but it may not be a flaw for you. This is the kind of hip-hop I would turn to first, and I’d like to think that accounts for something.
(Uncommon Nasa has since released a new single with Sarcasmo and Google called “Uncommon Karma”, which you’ll want to check out by clicking here.)