Review: Nasty P (@nastypbeats) ‘Rich Mundi’

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It must be poin­ted out that although Rich Mun­di is Nasty P’s latest album, con­cep­tu­ally it’s from his alter ego ‘Rich Mun­di’. Nasty P hails from Edin­burgh and is oth­er­wise known as Paul Ruther­ford, a DJ and pro­du­cer and estab­lished titan in the Scot­tish hip-hop scene. Under his belt is the crit­ic­ally acclaimed The Story So Far which fea­tures appear­ances from Akil from Jur­as­sic 5, Skinnyman and Oddis­see. He’s released sev­er­al not­able remixes of songs by J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Florence & The Machine, among­st oth­ers. He’s also sup­por­ted Ghost­face Kil­lah, KRS-One; Roots Manuva and Earl Sweat­shirt. Son­ic­ally, his pre­vi­ous work took more of a tra­di­tion­al approach to hip-hop. For example, The Story So Far was heav­ily influ­enced by 90s hip-hop and is beloved by fans of the under­ground and boom bap era. But this is where Rich Mun­di comes in. Rich Mun­di isn’t a com­plete avoid­ance of the gen­re as there are still ele­ments of boom bap found on the pro­ject. How­ever, as this is Nasty P’s alter ego, Rich Mun­di gives him the scope to explore and fuse hip-hop, EDM, RnB and soul themes more so than his pre­vi­ous work.

This mix and match leads to the biggest strength of Rich Mun­di: namely its diversity and how well it works. Nasty P isn’t con­tent to just hit us over the head with a boom bap sound. In fact, in a recent inter­view with The Skinny he affirmed his love for boom bap, but said, “there’s more to do”. In this respect, he’s clearly delivered as it’s a superbly diverse album that draws from mul­tiple gen­res. Rich Mun­di opens with No Tellin, a bars heavy gritty boom bap joint fea­tur­ing Ed O.G, Reks, Terman­o­logy and Akrobatik — all estab­lished rap­pers in Mas­sachu­setts’ under­ground scene. The good chem­istry between Nasty P and the four rap­pers is evid­ent as all of them deliv­er qual­ity verses, par­tic­u­larly Terman­o­logy who gives an incred­ibly men­acing third verse that’s a per­fect blend of unfiltered aggres­sion and lyr­i­cism. Nasty P flips the script at the end of the album, giv­ing a dark­er and more dan­ger­ous remix to No Tellin.

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One More Time fea­tur­ing Jane Gil­bert is a genu­inely beau­ti­ful gos­pel and soul inspired track with bril­liant pro­duc­tion. The bass­line is catchy and com­pli­men­ted by ter­ri­fic vocals. The track is so smooth it feels like it could appear on a Luke Cage epis­ode. Dia­mond Life is an elec­tron­ica driv­en heavy indus­tri­al song that could be at home at any EDM fest­ival. Nasty P takes a rel­at­ively min­im­al­ist approach to Round Again and along­side M.A.D, crafts a won­der­fully omin­ous head­banger and one of the strongest tracks on the album. Con­versely, Liv­ing It Tall fea­tur­ing Cosimo is airy, pop inspired and full of life.

The risk of mak­ing an ‘exper­i­ment­al’ album is that it can appear too abstract or dis­cord­ant. Refresh­ingly, Nasty P employs an appro­pri­ate amount of restraint through­out the pro­ject. For instance, Pretty Females util­ises a gar­age RnB inspired vocal show­case from fre­quent col­lab­or­at­or Naledi, but then also blends in gor­geous piano and strings. Nasty P clearly has a good ear for those sounds as they’re prom­in­ent through­out Rich Mun­di, but he doesn’t let them over­power the songs and knows how to give them their right place. Even if some of the songs are dif­fer­ent ton­ally from each oth­er, Nasty P has the tech­nic­al adept­ness to veer between genu­inely beau­ti­ful pieces like The Win and grit­ti­er ener­get­ic tracks like Dia­mond Life.

The down­side to this oth­er­wise solid pro­ject is that on this twelve song album, tracks such as I’m In (which sounds vaguely video­game inspired), Truth Story and Get It Star­ted aren’t as mem­or­able as some of the oth­er finer songs. They aren’t ter­rible, but the first sev­en songs are so well made and innov­at­ive that they set a high bar that those three songs don’t really meet. Although sand­wiched between I’m In and Get It Star­ted is the won­der­ful Jib­ber­ish.

Giv­ing the whole pro­ject a few spins, it’s clear that Nasty P makes super pol­ished and fun work. Some of the songs develop such a well-roun­ded atmo­sphere that they feel like they would make excel­lent addi­tions to a film soundtrack. His super pol­ished approach and abil­ity to switch between hyp­not­ic soul­ful beats and then draw you in with heavy elec­tron­ic sounds would be a ter­ri­fic thing to hear live. Go ahead and give Rich Mun­di a listen. It’s a solid piece of work and a great for­ay into diver­si­fy­ing his sounds.

Nasty P ‘Rich Mun­di’ will be out on 27th Octo­ber (pre order 20th Octo­ber)

Keep up to date With Nasty P on Face­book for updates!

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Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa

Mark is a South Lon­don based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He’s also an MMA and his­tory enthu­si­ast who tries to keep his love of animé under wraps.
Mark Mukasa

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About Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa
Mark is a South London based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He's also an MMA and history enthusiast who tries to keep his love of anime under wraps.