For years, it seemed like the art of the rap group was dying in music. It seemed as though consumers were more intrigued with solo acts, and groups were forming but crumbling at an alarming rate. Then, you turn on music from a group like 23rd Nation, and you’re forced to step back, and as a hip hop enthusiast you step back and think that the art of the rap group is alive, and well.
23rd Nation, with blends of Lil Wayne, Wu Tang, Outkast, and millennial fire power, delivers a breathtaking body of work on Fear The 23rd.
Start to finish listens are a rarity today, even amongst mainstream heavyweights. It’s usually because of redundancy. If an artists’ track list has 10 songs, if after five songs you’ve heard the same track five times, then you won’t want to hear the next five. With 23rd Nation, because of the shock value from track to track, and all of the different sounds, and voice manipulations, running through this eight song track list was actually easy, and boosted its replay value.
When Did Fear The 23rd Go Up
When you get to “Fire, Fire”, and you swivel your head looking for Travis Scott to jump on the track, you know that what these guys have is special, and industry ready, like today. The transition from “Isabella” to “Fire, Fire” was that shock value before mentioned, and was an early indicator that the listener would be able to let the entire project run. Sometimes the first 2-3 tracks of a project can be deceiving, but this didn’t lend itself for skepticism, but rather provided hope.
Fear The 23rd By The Halfway Mark
At Halftime, what was the status of the project? Well, “Wind Up” provided lyrical excercise, but in a catchy manner. At times, artist have to compromise one for the other, but on first listen, it seems as though 23rd Nation has that skill down to a science. They have seemingly mastered the art of conveying a message, while keeping the listener engaged, and “Wind Up” at the halfway Mark was a great indication of such. Once again, halftime of a project is the perfect chance to either lose your audience, or keep them along for the home stretch, and 23rd Nation certainly accomplished the latter. “Wind Up” though, could’ve been placed multiple places on the project, but holding it down at #4 was perfect as a Segway to the backend of the project, it wasn’t deceptive, and it fit into the overall vision of the project.
Fear The 23rd On The Backend
How does your project clean up? Artist like Future, Drake, Beyonce, the megastars, they’ve mastered the art of the album ending. It’s all so intentional. Seems as though 23rd Nation is from this same creative makeup, but the backend of Fear The 23rd is so carefully composed. The pocket from “23rd Gang” to “Starfall” is masterful, colorful, grimy, lyrical, and compiled of three bangers. Then, “Adanqua” rounds out the project with a soulful, churchy blend, to close out the show, and wrapped up what was a musical experience.
Ultra Light Fear The 23rd?
This new mix of spiritual, and hip hop has taken the game by storm, led by Chance The Rapper, and Kanye To The. 23rd Nation has taken its opportunity to shine the light on Fear The 23rd with all its GOD Dream references, and the game should be here for it. This in a sense is taking the ultimate stance, and takes art to a new level. An art that can/will be appreciated for generations to come. “Adanqua” is so raw, and honest, and transparent, and if like myself, you weren’t familiar with the collective before, then now you know exactly what they stand for, and what their mission is.