What is consciousness? A state of being aware? A recognition of self? A rapper with insight, a mic and a Jansport? There was a time when the “conscious rapper” tag was hung on any MC that refused to buckle and rap about crack and stacks. As hip hop continues to enjoy a country-wide resurgence, fueled by originality and hella personal style, there seems to be less tags and more wide-spread acceptance of art and expression in any form.
Lexington, Kentucky’s Nemo Achida wowed me on his latest LP, Conversations With Myself. Achida appears to be the harbinger for the next wave of hip hop headed for the masses by way of social networking and the internet; the perfect hybrid of substance and flair. The master MC who slays the mic but is too controlled to perspire. Yasiin Bey did it first and Nemo Achida seems to be carrying that torch of quiet cool.
Conversations invites the listener into Nemo’s wavy world hopping from backseat to stoop as he narrates his struggle over beats of his own creation. He’s aware of the world around him, and not content to tread water in the shallow end. See “Way Back” when he modestly wonders, “Do you know anything else but Griffey’s? Or Penny’s? Talk real dummy. I don’t know release dates, that’s jail money”. Dig the mild vex and agitation in his smooth delivery, the feeling that the “surface” is not enough. There’s understanding in this record that feels far ahead of its time.
You can grab Conversations With Myself for free at www.nemo-achida.bandcamp.com Support real art.