Nipsey Hussle’s untimely passing was deeply felt in the LA music worlds. His brand of DIY mixed with commercial appeal was a vital voice in popular music and his altruistic extracurriculars was unparalleled. But then LA hip hop has always had an amazing tradition of being grounded deeply in the real world. Where so much of the popular rap scene can fall prey to needless posturing, wealth flaunting, or empty commercialism, LA rappers have seemingly always bent their rhymes for the greater good, mostly through telling personal stories from their experiences. NWA, Snoop, Kendrick, Nipsey–all standard bearers of the west coast sound as it evolved.
That tradition is alive and well, and no better case for that is there than Crenshaw’s Nana. The rappe’s second EP follows closely on the heels of his debut, boasting just as much vulnerable truth telling as the Nana EP.
“heaven and Hennessy” starts it off, cutting the deepest. He seemingly takes benevolent aim at lyricists who boast so much about new wealth. “The only thing i’ve been stacking lately is stress/put that on top of bills,” he states, before launching into ways he could and hasnt chosen to make those means.
“Kings Blvd II” contains some of the heaviest beats he has yet released, while maintaining that theme of “Family over everything,” a theme he will return to on “On My Momma,” where he gives credit to his mother for his drive and success. The next three songs take a bit of a downturn as the subject turns toward relationships with “Her Song” and “You and I.”
The EP’s closer, “Save Yourself,” goes back to the storytelling aspect–detailing the story of the fallout of an assault. Its brutal track, but one where the storytelling is truly on point, and a fitting closer for the record.
Nana’s Save Yourself EP is streaming everywhere now. Be sure to check it out ASAP.
Lex Voight RIYL: Dog tongues, waves, deserts, desserts, The Buddha, the Morning Star, Thursday, Murder By Death, pulp, puppy chow, anachronisms…