A$AP Ferg

Clement Gama11/07/2018
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BACK from a brief self-imposed hiatus, Nasty C receives a handful of nominations for this year’s South African Hip Hop Awards.

After feeling unappreciated for his efforts in 2016, Nasty C boycotted last year’s SAHHA, this was during his time as a Mabala Noise artist. Now under Universal Music Group, real name David Junior Ngcobo, seems to have had a change of heart towards the awards. “There’s no one we actually have a problem with and speaking on the Nasty C issue, we’re still not aware why they chose not to send, but it’s always love. The awards are for the community,” founder and organiser Osmic Menoe says.

Nasty C has had an amazing year, avoiding any possible sophomore jitters, he released Strings and Bling this year and has managed to stay in conversation prior and post release.

He was recently part of BET’s SA cypher together with fellow current chief emcees A-Reece and Shane Eagle. Strings and Bling is nominated in the album of the category, where Nasty C will battle it out with Da Les’ High Life, Cebisa by Zakwe, Baby Brother ya Blaklez and K.O’s SR2.

For his pen game on Strings and Bling, he is nominated in the salivating Lyricist of The Year together with Zakwe, Stogie T, Ginger Breadman and PDotO. The Best Remix, Collab, Radio Show, Video, Song of the year and Best Male and Female categories will be voted for by the public. The awards take place at Gold Reef City’s Lyric Theatre for the seventh consecutive time on December 19. “We have made a home out of the venue, we appreciate the professionalism and love they always show to the awards,” says Osmic.

Nasty C is nominated twice in the Song of the Year category, for Send Me Away and his collaborative joint with A$AP Ferg, King.  The same track is nominated as one of the best collabos of the year, together with Boity’s mystifying Wuz Dat. Nasty C is nominated eight times, or nine if the collab with Boity is included. Also in there is DJ Speedsta and OKMalumKoolKat in Combos Communicating, Riky Rick’s Stay Shinning with Cassper Nyovest, Professor and Major League DJs- among the list of 10 tracks nominated.

The ceremony will be broadcast on SABC 1, after being on e.TV and MTV Base in previous years. “We still with SABC 1 after the good numbers last year of 2 million viewers. We felt at home and appreciated the fact that they were willing to take a chance.”

Other artists who have a slew of nominations are Zakwe, Kwesta and Riky Rick.

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The ubiquity of rap singers over the past few years has changed how people see the Hip Hop genre. The era before this was one that vilified a kat for being in-tune with his emotions. Labelling it gay, soft, weirdo or butt-check music.

Andre 3000 was one of the first male rappers, who was comfortable in his own skin. His courage has influenced a generation of the rappers who can hold a note and spit some bars. Had Three Stacks not did what he did, I doubt we would have the same Chance The Rapper, GoldLink, Smino, Kyle or Aminé. All these boys are undeniably influenced by R&B, Neo Soul and have the make-up of a Hip Hop artist.

Buddy is no exception. The Los Angeles rapper released his debut album, Harlan & Alondra last month. Through the 12 tracks on the album, you get the life-story of the L. A artist. Given that he was singed under Pharrell’s company, i Am OTHER, for the longest of time I expected the album to be on point sonically. And so it was. Buddy’s singing is good on the ear and doesn’t come off as an obligatory effort. You can tell he started out as a singer, and then picked up the rapping along the way, because his singing stronger than his bars on some of the joints.

It’s songs like Speechless, which make me visualize artists in studio recording.  The track is sexy, smooth with a punch funk. Trouble On Central takes us to his neighbourhood in Compton, where he paints a picture of his troubled adolescence and hopes of moving out of the hood. While Shine is delightful blend of his raps and singing.

The flow on Shameless is a nod to the Migos. It was a genius idea to get Guapdad 4000 to spit his verse first on the song. Although he’s the featured artist, he sets the tone with his slick verse. Buddy’s verse, juxtaposed the recurring theme on Trouble On Central, highlights the progress he’s made in the last few years as an artist and a person. His EP with virtuoso producer and DJ Kaytranada, Ocean & Montana which came out a year ago, changed the trajectory of his career in a good way. It was through that EP, that I got introduced to Buddy. I don’t think he has particularly grown since the release of that project, as an artist, but Harlan & Alondra is a fuller body of work. You get more of who he is. His other work include 2015 mixtape Idle Time, and EP, Magnolia which came out last year.

Like his former boss Pharrell, Buddy has appreciation of different genres and other artists’ crafts. He’s features were very calculated and the song with Snoop Dogg, The Blue, gives Snoop liberty to be himself and add that to the song, which makes it doper. I never would’ve imaged Buddy working with A$AP Ferg, who spat one of the dopest verses on the whole album. I really hope to see the two performing this joint at one of the big award shows. The lyrics are heavy, but thankfully the beat is so sick, the shit doesn’t sound preachy.

Find Me 2 is a good song and as you might guess, there will be inevitable comparisons to Find Me which was on Ocean & Montana and the more upbeat first version has a special place in my heart. Like a teenage Bonginkosi, I’ll have to wait for the new version to grow on me, like pubic hair.

The album has definite replay value. Songs like Real Life S**t and Trippin’ give it legs to be in people’s faces and ears for a long time. It’s difficult getting an album with bad production and this album has good beats that capture the essence of the song. I’m excited for Buddy’s growth. I genuinely think more dopeness is gonna come from this kid as he grows as a lyricist and an overall artist

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Having successful 21 year-olds who solely make their guap from raps, signals South African Hip Hop’s rapid growth over the last few years.

This isn’t unique to Mzansi Hip Hop though. The culture is pop culture and has been for a while now. The advancement of technology is a huge factor without a doubt. Not that there weren’t teens making music 20-15 years ago, but their market couldn’t directly consume the music and even purchase it at click of a button.

Which brings me to Nasty C’s Strings and Bling album.  Nasty C has enough skill to make it as a rapper even if you put him in the 90s. But he doesn’t make music that resembles this fact. He makes music for people around his age, while his music doesn’t transcend the times in any way.

Strings and Bling is definitely not an album I’ll voluntarily jam a week after this, but I’ll vibe to it when say, a friend bumps it in their car. The production is really good, I was impressed by his selection. I get a feeling he wasn’t going on a whim in choosing these beats. The general fell of the album is, as I understood, his (heart) strings and bling lifestyle. The production team served its purpose in how they captured the theme of the album. I was pleasantly surprised by the abstract sounding beat on Do U Dig. Legendary has a nice bounce to it, balanced by his lax braggadocio on the chorus rapping

Love follows me like I retweet

Yol hate on me, and waste your breath

When you could breath, legendary, I’m jus being

Legendary me, when I’m feeling humble I just smoke

Some ordinary weed 

 

It’s more of the same shit, just a different toilet throughout the album. It’s different to what’s out there because it’s Nasty C- he has his own personal stories of heart break and his way of bragging about his lavish lifestyle, but in terms of musicality it’s not far off what’s already out there. Jungle got me confused with King feat. A$AP Ferg, not because the songs sound alike but because Jungle sounds like it’s a Ferg joint. My ear was expecting to hear the US rapper there.

Listening to Everything Feat. Kaien Cruz felt like being forced to watch a teenage chick flick with my niece and her high school friends, at their pyjama party. It was too mushy for my liking.

But U Played Yourself is my jam on the album. He raps about trust issues within relationships, and I think this song is a snippet of what we’ll get from a 25-27 year-old Nasty C in the future, he spits some honest bars that are beyond his age. The beat is like oil on water among the rest of the beats, but somehow sits well on the album like oil does over H2O.

When I listen to most South African rappers, I have this incessant feeling that these people are trying to sound American. Their cadence and pronunciation of words is a giveaway. But these kids consume American culture every day, it’s inevitable how they’ll turn out. Casanova is one of the examples on the album.

The album isn’t intended for me. My turn-up gang will surely appreciate this and more importantly, Nasty’s huge high school-varsity audience. Having a braggadocio outlook is very much part of Hip Hop, but it’s not all that Hip Hop is.


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