Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here

Posted By on Wed, Oct 25, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Like the late, great J Dilla, Dutch beatmaker Nicolay is a big fan of neo-soul R&B as it relates to hip hop. But unlike Dilla, Nicolay isn't so much an experimentalist as he is a classicist, favoring languid, rounded beats and melodic sing-along choruses. The result is an album of gorgeously clean R&B beats over which regional American emcees like St. Louis' Black Spade don't so much spit as drool rhymes. That's not a put-down — for as epic and commanding a track as "I Am The Man" is, with its long, stately horn blasts, Spade's rapping seems to be in search of something a little more angst-filled to rhyme over; he can't quite get above the random boast-and-toast. Where, say, Common and D'Angelo found that delicate balance between hip hop and R&B on Dilla's "So Far To Go" from this year's The Shining, Nicolay's tracks are so simultaneously laid back but tight that his emcees don't have much room to flow. The strength of Here is in numbers, and the juxtaposition of the twisting, melodic segue "Let It Shine for Me" into "The End Is Near," where Black Spade finally finds some lyrical heft to match the ominous, hypnotic beat. It's one track that shows Nicolay balancing R&B beauty with hip-hop brawn convincingly.

Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Hobey Echlin

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation