Max Bell hasn’t lost a dice game this month.

Flee the crime scene. Hear the scorching rubber. Wara from the NBHD has seen this scene more than once or twice before.  “Squeal (Peel Off)” is the first single off of his upcoming album Kidnapped.

The beat is ominous. The drums the and bass line are built to break your Beats yet feel as though they’ve been subdued by a silencer. The spectral croons give the song eeriness, as do the synths direct from a Haunted House playlist and the grinding guitar. Producers still mired in Lex Luger trap fare should take note: the most sinister is sometimes the most subtle.

Lyrically, Wara turns what could’ve been a nightmarish ride through the ATL into relatively standard braggadocio. Every song doesn’t need a narrative. And, if Kidnapped is really a concept album, then this might fit perfectly within that framework, providing a reprieve from the plot points in favor of meandering yet still highly volatile menace.

A solid writer with an engaging voice, Wara has a number of lines (e.g. “Young nigga, old money, borderline nostalgic / I keep my shit gritty like mourner’s in ghetto houses”) that show the growth he’s made since Ill Street Blues (review here). Still, lines such as, “Still in the business of making them feel heaven sent/ Hand in the air like you reaching up through your cabinet,” feel forced. One byproduct of the Internet is that the growing pains are often laid bare. Few come out with perfect aim. Thus, all is as it should be with Wara.  He’s still just as promising, and potential is always more interesting than fully developed dreck.