Neph – The Black Box EP [Review]
Vancouver, BC – Originally published Dec. 23, 2013 – With a substantial amount of local buzz surrounding his natural talent, and co-signs from some of Canada’s biggest industry names, Neph has the potential to make a splash in 2013 as a force to be reckoned with. The Nepharious One or Nephilim is an up-and-coming underground emcee, receiving production from the likes of Vancouver’s Rob The Viking, Ol’ City Rocker, and Victoria’s S.O.U.L., equating to a myriad of sounds delivered through what listeners describe as a “staccato flow with a touch of soul.” – Download and stream available after the jump.
Neph raps with so much authority on his debut solo project that it feels like the beat is keeping time to his voice rather than the other way around. The Black Box EP showcases his relentless rapid fire delivery alongside some first class production from Rob The Viking. Tons of great production touches and sound FX accompany Neph’s vivid wordplay creating a rich and immersive experience for the listener.
“Double propeller rotary flow leave you chopped like tartar/ chase you down with hard bar/ it’s the new world order” from “Exhibit A” is an example of Neph’s ability to end lines with words that don’t rhyme but still sound like they work in a sequence. Using his tenacious flow and immaculately placed doubles he puts a certain emphasis on words that gives them the feel as if they belong together. On top of being very crafty with his wordplay, Neph is also diverse. He goes from rapping about severing your head on one song to filling his tummy and eating gummy bears on the next.
“Viceroy” featuring Prevail is one of the stronger songs on the album. The two emcees spit dope 16s and then trade bars near the end. They even manage to share rhymes schemes where one emcee will start his verse with the same rhymes scheme the other one ended his verse with. This act is executed with razor sharp precision and sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the EP.
The Nepharious One is like a prize fighter in the ring. He pins the beat up against the ropes and unleashes with flurries of rhymes giving it no chance to breathe. This is both his strength and his handicap at the same time. At times you just want a break from his machine gun vocabulary to vibe with the beat and let your brain catch up with what he has just said, but the opportunity rarely comes, if ever. That being said, Neph is undoubtedly a skilled individual and we should all be keeping our eyes on this bright young star in the making.
Written by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada