Rxk Nephew - Slitherman Activated Music Album Reviews

Rxk Nephew - Slitherman Activated Music Album Reviews
The Rochester rapper is at his best when he isn’t folding to the pressures of wider appeal or tightly-packaged collaborations on his latest project.

The best way to experience Rxk Nephew is to go to his YouTube channel, click on literally anything, and walk away confused, blown away, slightly disturbed, and/or laughing your ass off. In any case, you’ll probably let the next song auto-play. The Rochester rapper’s rambling stream of trapping, Hennessy, hardships, heartbreak, rapper disses, and global conspiracies is a constantly updated document of his churning mindstate. The album format puts arbitrary bounds on an artist who, since 2019, has released at least one song nearly every day.

So what separates Slitherman Activated from the 30 other projects he’s dumped on the internet? For one, it’s released via Towhead Recordings, the New York dance music label at the center of the scene’s ascent. A known aficionado for atypical beats (or maybe everything that lands in his inbox), Nephew brings his relentless, Lil B-inflected flow to a swirl of techno, house, and hip-hop courtesy of city stalwarts like Color Plus and DJ Swisha. On “Beam On Ya Toes,” you’re at a rave in a Brooklyn warehouse watching the Slitherman hand out cocaine and whisper “Poltergeist had the drip.”

The issue is that this can often feel like dance producers trying to make rap beats, which cuts against Nephew’s authenticity. When they’re leaning into their truest instincts, like on the clubby “Early Age Death,” Nephew responds with some of his wildest freestyles to date (in this one, he threatens to kill his parents and the producer, then disses Biggie and 2Pac for good measure). Other highlights are low-stakes exhales, like the Color Plus-produced “Strange Death,” wherein Nephew sounds like an old Screw freestyler with an internet-fried brain: “Nephew got drugs on ya? Hell yeah/Nephew think they cloned Kodak Black? Hell yeah.” But more often, the producers try their hardest to dress up regional rap styles with the occasional wobbly bass or dissonant synth. This becomes apparent when you realize how quickly the record drops off after the opener “Dark Noise,” which isn’t produced by any of these guys but by Detroit rap veteran Black Noi$e.

As if to emphasize how Strange and Cool these beats are, Nephew’s voice throughout is frequently mixed to sound tinny and distant. This feels intentional, perhaps to give his raps a kind of surreal, alien quality, but it makes Nephew seem secondary to the production. We’re here for the Slitherman, not your new VST! It all reminds me of that Hoodrich Pablo Juan and Brodinski tape from a few years ago, which sounded cool and might’ve been a gateway for non-rap fans but had me itching to listen to Pablo Juan’s Designer Drugz series instead. Luckily, Nephew maintains intrigue. On the mind melt that is “I Forgot My Day,” he details quite possibly the biggest bout of amnesia ever in a rap song. The one thing he remembers is “I take my shirt off and all the hoes stop breathin’,” (the Gucci Mane version, probably), which he raps at the song’s end like an uncle reading the lyrics off Genius.

While Rxk Nephew was serving time a couple of years ago, he devoured all the books he could find about conspiracy theories. “I talked to my bunkie about conspiracy theories all day,” he said in an interview on FILO TV. “Area 51, Christopher Columbus, British people wooden teeth… Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks.” He studied texts about aliens, weather control, and lies in the Bible. He read William Cooper’s infamous bestseller Behold A Pale Horse, praised by Alex Jones and the Wu-Tang Clan. Then he got out and recorded “American tterroristt,” his nine-minute retelling of the past, present, and future; the lives of Adam and Eve; Ben Franklin and Santa Claus; Will Smith; and SpongeBob SquarePants—this delirious opus somehow enraptured the rap internet for a moment last winter.

It’d be crazy to expect anything resembling “American tterroristt” ever again, but Rxk Nephew is at his best when he isn’t folding to the pressures of wider appeal or tightly-packaged collaborations. Give him a pack of plugg beats and a night in a studio and he’ll make magic. Slitherman Activated occasionally gets there, too, but is mostly a series of limp attempts at crossover. At least you’ll be able to go on YouTube tomorrow and find a new Rxk Nephew song waiting.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Rxk Nephew - Slitherman Activated Music Album Reviews Rxk Nephew - Slitherman Activated Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 22, 2021 Rating: 5


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