Not all, but most hip-hop heads are up on the mixtape circuit—some don’t venture far beyond this format, and they never have widely known rappers’ or producers names on the covers. Most hip hop audiences may not have heard Nick Antony Israel, also known as Steady Tek-Nick, verbally eviscerate tracks on his earlier releases. But when they eventually get around to hearing his latest mixtape release “Blank Tape”, they will realized that this born rapper is also a lyrical monster. Over a simple, breakbeat-like percussion arrangement, Steady Tek-Nick can rip through tracks like a man on a mission, perhaps to make sure nobody ever questions his role in the game. Or to just embarrass his next-generation peers with nary a wasted line heard throughout the mixtape’s 7 tracks. Either way, his flow is assured, the bars packed airtight with multi-syllabic rhymes and clever double entendres. He’s both reflective and relentless.
The a young Haitian Hip-Hop prodigy who developed an interest for writing raps and audio engineering at an early age, wasted no time in applying his newly found skills to his music. Due to the lack of education and tools available for perfecting his craft, he travelled from Haiti to New York in order to obtain his sound engineering degree and have his music flourish on an international platform.
His keen hears for sound and extensive knowledge of audio equipment are steadily establishing him among the best in his field. Dense with syllables and intricately artful rhyme patterns, Steady Tek-Nick’s lyrics have a particularly evocative quality due to their poetic imagery.
Right from the first track “Catch”, on the latest mixtpe, Steady Tek-Nick’s lyrics are a collage of snapshots and implied meanings, the kinds of things that cohere into a formal shape when woven together; these ideas keep the listener hanging on each word.
It’s this sense of creating rather than describing that animates his work, as he sketches a portrait of the scenes in his head. His confidence in his art means truth sits between each line. Many rappers rely on style, swagger or cool.
As you can hear on “Wonderland” and “Steady”, Steady Tek-Nick is not one of those rappers. His rapping builds upon a searing sincerity, one he expresses by rapping with anxious, alarmed energy. His verses are raw, an exposed nerve; when he raps, it cuts through.
This style isn’t what makes Steady Tek-Nick a lyrical rapper; it’s what allows him to be one. Steady’s music is at once an uninhibited scream and the epitome of absolute control. Because despite the density and musicality of the way his words are put together, he’s always to the point, and literal.
Wordplay and imagery are only part of the package, and if he has punchlines, they’re brutal. This lyrical structure, ignites implicit tension in his music; it’s the moment where Steay’s lyrics, spit with rapid-fire directness, create an intense urgency, as on “Full Push” and “GOF (Gawd On Fleek)”.
Flow is one part of being lyrical, and its admirable the way Steady Tek-Nick and Joey Wraps just float all over “Boom Back” – the most accessible track on the mixtape – with total awesomeness.
Being lyrical, then, isn’t just about dexterity, and it’s not just personality, either; it’s about embodying all the things that you do well, and doing it at an exceptional level. That’s what Steady Tek-Nick pulls off on “Blank Tape”.