Max Bell also endorses the Howie Mandel and Fred Savage vehicle, Little Monsters.
Nocando has been riding the wave for a minute. Low End Theory remains popping and popular as ever (ask your local fire marshal). Hellfyre Club dropped one of last year’s best rappity-rap releases (Dorner vs. Tookie) and will soon be headed to a city near you. Nocando’s second LP Jimmy the Burnout will be here quicker than you can find a Gremlin. At this point, he’s standing up in the barrel with his arms wide open. Pause. No Creed.
Yet “Little Green Monsters,” the first single form Jimmy the Burnout, is dark and deranged. This is the life of the mind from a man raised in a city where all seems hopeless; a man who knows he needs to get it together while coming untethered. Socratic wisdom is tempered with fantastical coke binges, trips to abortion clinics, and a lifetime of stresses. If the rest of the album sounds like this, you’ll need a ‘bad bitch from Borneo’ to rock you to sleep at night.
Subject matter aside, this is Nocan at his most impassioned and aggressive. He’s long been capable of deftly shifting cadences, and his brief double-time in the first verse is both dexterous and apt — the aural equivalent of doing 120 through downtown L.A.
Elusive’s beat opens with a Stomp-like(the musical) barrage of banging bottles, cans, and trashcans. Then come the sinister synths, the hi-hats that sound off with the speed of vindictive apparitions. It’s some of the most interesting, engaging, and forward-thinking production you’ll hear this week.
On the Max B (the other one) inspired hook, Liphemra plays the role of spectral songstress. Her voice is inherently haunting and makes me feel like I said “Candyman” five times while looking in the mirror. That said, “red velvet pussy” still sounds like a cupcake from an adult-themed bakery.
The video for “Little Green Monsters” dropped yesterday via LA Weekly. An homage to Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, Nocan plays Woody Harrelson: soaked in high-fructose corn syrup, swerving through a TV montage, and committing homicide with his equally twisted lady friend. It’s well worth your time on the Interweb. However, it’s only suited for work if you work from home and your parents have become numb to the sight of rap videos on your computer.
Our bias with regard to all things Hellfyre is well documented, so it is what it is and “Kelly Slater” (the b-side to “Little Green Monsters”) is below. Whether fam or foe, good rap music and equally good videos are always worth sharing and writing about. ‘No [white] lie.’