Born and raised in Oakland, Nappy Nina has had quite a year. With the release of her highly anticipated album The Tree Act earlier this year she has established herself as one of the most talented poets to grace the scene this year. On her brand new album Dumb Doubt, she continues to shine, with introspective lyricism and clever wordplay that is complemented by eclectic, jazzy production that’s really quite amazing.
The album as a whole is about embracing imperfections, both physical ones and mental ones, that she faces on a daily basis. She doubts herself, like everyone does themselves. Her wholesome, transparent and honest personality on record is what makes this such a beautiful and pure album. Her reflection on tracks like “Good To Me” are stand outs to me, as her words complemented by warped jazz-heavy production. “What You Want” features Quelle Chris, Nick Hakim and Ambrose Akinmusire, an a powerful and emotive track. Honestly had tears listening through – the honest and personal lyricism about things that Nappy Nina and Quelle Chris hold dear to them, memories, fragments of time, poetic descriptions of moments in the time that hold such weight and emotion. The piano and trumpet-led instrumental brings goosebumps. ” Worth Watching” is a groovy, funky track with an interesting verse from the talented rapper, who (from what I understand anyway), talks about the struggles of being black, being “watched,” but at the same time being self-reflecting and critical, saying there’s nothing worth watching in her. Her self-critical nature is something I can relate to. “Those Things” features Anna Wise, another beautiful and reflective track, while “Fatigued” closes the album with a bang. Featuring Maassai, another one of my favourite rappers at the moment, the track features lyrics about being fatigued with life, dealing with the difficulties of love, as she states “I’m fatigued she’s out of my league anyway” on the hook. Her lyrics about being black and queer, the difficulties around carving a true identity for herself and her being honest about the way she sees herself are all so poignant and pure. It’s a beautiful, raw and passionate body of work that sees Nappy Nina continue to grow from strength to strength, as a writer, poet and all-round artist.
Listen to Nappy Nina’s brand new album Dumb Doubt below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support!