What You Need To Know
Virginia Native, NU3RA NESS, is back with his latest offering, ‘Lights’, which has the release date of January 26,2018. This project was meant to show his experimentation as he steps away from his usual comfort and explores new territories both sonically and lyrically. The album was designed with a more fun and energetic feel in mind. This body of work is also laced with soulful and nostalgic samples music lovers are sure to gravitate towards. NU3RA NESS really goes all out here to showcase his versatility and it does not go unnoticed. The project is comprised of 12 songs and is inclusive of a bonus track, being ‘Truth’. Sit back, play ‘Lights’ and read along as this gets reviewed.
Down To The Music
NU3RA NESS kicks this project off with a song titled ‘Believe’. This is where the samples start on this body of work and those familiar with music will immediately recognize it. This particular song has the “late night ride, think about life to it” feel. As good as this track feels, it isn’t all sunshine and ease. NU3RA NESS displays the hunger that he has as he raps “I swear, my music go the f**king hardest/ Wish they would cheer for me as much as they do other artists”. This is where the Believe comes in at. Clearly he believes that his efforts for the music he makes is not matched and would like for it to be valued as well as rewarded. Not only does he believe in himself but he also poses a question: “Do you believe in me? Is you with me till the end, promise never to pretend, let me know do you believe in me”? This goes to show that he desires reassurance and understandably so.
‘Regrets’ gives a very subtle-starting sample, filled with high-pitched but sweet, wispy singing that gradually gets louder. It fuses wonderfully with the rest of the song as well. As the song is called what it is, there are definitely some regrets in this song. NU3RA goes on to say “She knew the whole time I had feelings and I wish we dated. I moved on by the time it was reciprocated”
Next, we get to ‘Voicemail’. It may be easy to dismiss this song as “oh, he titled it this because he recorded a voicemail conversation from a phone and just put it fill the album”, but you would be missing this by a long shot. It does feature a recorded voicemail, but this song is a gem. It has a very vintage, 90’s sounding sample in the background once things get going. This is also a song of reflection, thinking about where NU3RA has come from, “I used to be in they inbox forwarding all my demos. Trying to get on blogs and never would get the memo. Telling me my sound would never appeal to the mass. Either I evolved or they terrible at doing math”. Take-no-prisoners and silencing his doubters is certainly a focal point on this track.
We get a blast from the past with ‘Mary Jane’. It features a well-know song that is sampled, ‘Mary Jane’ by Rick James. NU3RA doesn’t do everything along. Noah-O tags along as well. The Rick James-sampled vocals marry the flow of the track perfectly. This particular track is among a favorite on the album.
‘Come Over’ is next. It prepares you for the meat of the song by offering a high-pitched vocal sample that saturates the ears and bleeds through the lyrics given. It has an R&B-esque feel as well.
‘Goals’ comes on in a more serious tone. Production wise, it has a more serious focus to it. Of course, from the title you can tell its more braggadocious this time around. “Baby, we the sh*t, f**k what you say…Real Life Goals…” and “You not in a foreign with a passenger. Let’s keep it accurate, you really drive an Acura” both serve as a couple of examples.
After this song, ‘Higher’ comes in as smooth as ever and is accompanied by fellow Virginians, SKNNYY HENDRIXX and AARNXBRWN. It effortlessly gives you an intoxicating feel as the rest of the track gets rolling. This could definitely be a smoker’s anthem
‘Numbers Never Lie’ has THEDONRRRM on it and this song is more so fun. There is a definite element of bounce to this. It can be described as a “contained or casual turn-up”, meaning that it’s bass-filled but the production is very laid back and concise.
‘Fame’ is the following song and it begins with a rollercoaster of a piano melody. The feeling of the song is some what druggy, which is a bit of irony as fame is known to be equated to drug also. What’s being discussed here is the narrative of a woman being someone who is attracted to and chasing fame and NU3RA NESS sees through it, hence the hook he provides.
Following suit is a song titled ‘All On My Own’. It starts off with a mesmerizing piano melody that is captivating all before bass kicks in, but it is not sloppy. The transition from when the piano starts to when the rest of the instrumental arrangement follows suit is seamless. As the song progresses, the production is more lush and smooth. The beat isn’t the only thing that one should get lost in; there is still a message here. From the jump, he lets it be known that the progress he has made was done all on his own. Notably on this track he says “I done made my hobby worth a check, that’s respect…”. That there immediately says that he is living a dream that many wish they could. There seems to be few things that bring more joy than doing what you like doing and being able to make a living from it.
The soul is brought in when ‘Legendary’ starts with the specific sample it has. Not too long after that, he spits something very relatable, as with the rest of the album, “Winners never lose, Legends never die…”.It features fellow Virginian, Reppa Ton as well.
Lastly, we arrive at the bonus song, ‘Truth’. It has a very chill vibe to it as well. Feels very relaxed. NU3RA NESS floats over the production with much ease. He gives very vivid imagery here as well to let some things be known, “Y’all e-harmony n***as is never harming me/I Swiss-Army ya ligaments from ya arteries…” Talk about sending a message!
‘Lights’ is a very solid project. There seems to never be a dull moment. It includes versatility, good production, substance, quotable lyrics and simply put, a good time. This is something you don’t want to hit the snooze button on.