End of Earth Records
Reviewed by SSRC
When you turn on the radio and listen to your local Hip Hop station you will be bombarded with a lot of rap that sounds the same. The subject matter is predictable and the rapper’s spit in a very conventional flow. The only variation you have is the odd Eminem single where he is rapping with an accent or a rapper with a deep drawl that you have a hard time understanding. If you look a bit further than your average radio rap, you will see that there is actually many different styles of rapping being performed and perfected all over the world. If you stumble across the artist known as Spoken Nerd, you will find one of those different rappers. If I had to compare Spoken Nerd to another artist, I would probably suggest The Listener, as he does a sing songy flow and a talk style rap that offers a diverse sound.
Now, this does not always translate into a good thing because for example, on the 24 Carrot Dreams album, you get a bit of everything. Someone like Fabolous or Memphis Bleek who glide over the beat with a more natural sound then Spoken Nerd don’t really contribute a lot with what they have to say. What Spoken Nerd succeeds at, is his ability to translate his emotions into words and put them into a song. This is done best on the second half of his album on songs like “Lying Here On The Floor” and “The Art Of Pushing”. “The Art Of Pushing” has an acoustic backdrop with a great Tom Petty sounding chorus. Spoken Nerd feels most at home on this track and the results show. “Lying Here On The Floor” is the albums standout track as it features the Listener. The two artists play off each other really well. They both have a dope unassuming way about their rhyming style. They are not afraid to look at the man in the mirror and talk about the adjustments that need to be done in one’s self. This song needs to be heard by more people.
The rest of the album is a mixed bag, one that some people will love and others will have a hard time getting into. I tend to relate more with the second half. I appreciate Spoken Nerds’ outlook on the Hip Hop world but “This Is Hip Hop” just falls flat. I agree with what he is saying but it just doesn’t flow well. The track “Con Artist” suffers from an average beat and Spoken’s flow just doesn’t do much for me. Other tracks like “Honesty,” “Bunny,” and “Distractions,” suffer from the same downfalls of being just average, doing little to grab you and make you want to listen again.
After a couple of listens to this album, I was left with not much to say. It’s not a bad one because Spoken Nerd does have some good messages to get across. The problem I had with the album was that it started off really slow and only started to grab me near the very end. It is not an album I will go back to and give multiple listens. I know some people will get into his artistry so I would encourage you to check out his Myspace page and listen for yourself, but if I could give one bit of advice to Spoken Nerd, it would be to focus the energy he found at the end of the album. I think he started to find his stride at the end and I would love to hear more music in that direction.
For fans of: Listener, Deepspace5, Anticon, Absent Minded