New York Rapper / Producer embraces those all night studio sessions on his fourth studio album, Written at Night.
Most artists can relate to the lucid flow of productivity that occurs late at night. When your mind moves towards a dreamstate but remains active enough to create, and the ideas flow easily. Uncommon Nasa embraces this moment as the concept for his fourth studio album.
Honestly titled, ‘Written at Night’ is the result of late night studio sessions. Nasa takes on sole responsibility for the production of the album whilst vocally he’s accompanied by a special set of guest collaborators. Notably Open Mike Eagle, Guilty Simpson, Oh No, Quelle Chris, billy woods, and Mike Ladd all contribute to the release.
Standout Track: Small Change (w/ Duke01 & Furious P of Last Sons and King Kashmere)
Nasa’s distinctive prog-rap stylings will be familiar to his already established fanbase. His vocal delivery sits just beyond that of an angry spoken word poet much of the time. His production style relies on spikey sounds and irregular beats that punctuate his lyrical style, raps are spit with intent.
It’s not just more of the same from Uncommon Nasa though. The penultimate album track, ‘Gingerbread Hag’ with Brzowski and C-Money Burns, feels dirty, gravelly and sweaty. Like Tom Waits playing distorted blues with Keith Richards at a small bar in the back streets of hell. It’s more fluid, vocally. Yet equally abrasive. That’s a good thing.
Throughout the eleven tracks that form the album guest vocalists help to smooth the sound, evidence of which can be found on ‘Extra Lives’ featuring Open Mike Eagle & Barrie McLain. Nasa’s hard hitting approach is juxtaposed by his peer’s more rounded rhyme schemes.
UK Duo Last Sons aka Duke01 and Furious P (providing cuts) contribute to my standout track from the album ‘Small Change’ (The title of which possibly sparked the Tom Waits comparison earlier). King Kashmere also features.
‘Written at Night’ feels like an important step for Nasa. Whilst he’s is more than capable of creating meaningful progressive hip-hop, and thematic concept albums, by focussing on the creative process itself – and by collaborating with a pool of talented artists that contribute ideas and establish alternative routes through the writing process – it feels like the album is more meaningful thanks to the sum of its parts rather than for any message it conveys.
Written at Night is released via Man Bites Dog Records. A digital download will cost you $7. The albums is also available on cassette and red vinyl.