I’m going to go ahead and assume that you have never heard of this Toronto rapper N0va. That’s okay, as he has been one of hip hop’s best kept secrets for the last two years. I came across his album “Whip Sessions” in 2015 and was shocked as to what graced my ears. Despite enjoying his double time flow and beat selection, I put N0va in between my digital stack of music until the next year. I rediscovered this album randomly scrolling through the artists on my iPod and was glad that I spun it again…and again and again.
Many artists think only singles require tangible concepts. In turn, they settle into redundant, generic themes for the rest of their album cuts. N0va, on the other hand, understands the importance of delivering unique subject matter, something he delivered on both “Whip Sessions” and the follow-up 2016 “Hour Glass” album, and he does again throughout his latest 2017 project – “Whip Sessions II”.
Amidst the conceptual cohesiveness lies the somber realism that makes people want to dissect the complexities of N0va and his music. Most may find his reality convincing, because his overcoming emotion is thick, profound, and easy to believe.
Beyond the technical wizardry put into this project, there’s a clear overarching sense of embattled introspection lacing the entire album, with N0va examining his footprints – on both a personal and artistic level. As a result, fans get a glimpse into the mind of someone with impeccable talent and no filter, spilling his thoughts on wax for the world to revel in. In 2017’s Hip-Hop landscape, authenticity I think will go a long way.
Between speaking vividly on his own virtues and vices and illustrating tales that evoke Goosebumps, N0va creates lyrical storyboards to drive home rational reality checks for listeners throughout the album. The stand-out concept might be “N.0.V.A – Produced by Noise System” and “K.O.T.H (New York New York Remix)” a heart-on-the-sleeve track that speaks about earning everything with blood, sweat and tears.
All throughout the album N0va is reflecting and letting his flow build up the anticipation in each song before delivering his final message. The album as a whole is quite the effort, and the content is just an example of his harsh honesty.
N0va has the ability to capture your attention with his story-telling, and that shines through on every track, especially with “Spun – Produced by Young Taylor” and “Shine – Produced by Quote”. However, N0va doesn’t just give you his perspective; he describes the entire scene in his songs, as on “Remember – Produced by Quote” and “Hindsight (Last Dayz Remix)”.
This album is a must have for 2017. What stands out most after one listen through is N0va’s ability to write a hook, not to mention his beat selection. He wastes no time with filler and proves that not only has he mastered his craft thus far, but also that he has not yet reached his peak musically.
He still has room to grow, though he already knows his sound, which is evident by the beats from the album alone, as well as the beat selection from his previous releases. N0va’s style is unique, and though he has quite the ability to flow, his ability to tell a story is reminiscent of the genre’s legends.