Lil’ Nuts sounds a lot like Rittz but without the authenticity. He’s capable of writing and carrying multisyllabilic rhyme schemes over and over, but his content feels dull and repetitive. I never got the feeling that he was saying anything prolific, nor did he stray from the same tired topics that every other rapper has already touched on.
I hate to simply criticize an artist without giving them an idea of what they could have done better, so I sat and listened to “Straight Out of Concord” on repeat and I came to a couple conclusions. The first is that Nuts would do well to refrain from singing his own hooks without audio editing software. As much as I wish I could sing myself, it’s simply not for everyone. Another would be to work on his breathe and vocal control. Plenty of his vocals throughout the album are muffled or rendered inaudible by the sound of his own voice. It very well could be his recording equipment, but I don’t think that’s likely. The songs “Interlude” and “So Winded” are the prime example of what I’m talking about. the majority of time it honestly sounds like he was quietly recording in a closet to avoid waking up his roommates. There’s a constant struggle between his voice and the beat. As much as he tries to fluctuate his voice to match the instrumental, I think it ends up drawing too much away from the tracks overall instead of creating a varied sound to engage the listener with. There is one other thing I feel I have to mention. Lil’ Nuts uses a lot of vocal layers in a handful of his songs. The mixing of these layers are not good. It genuinely seems as though their sole purpose is to be distracting.
As is the case with most aspiring artists’ endeavors, this project is not all bad. I mentioned before that Nuts has a solid writing ability. My only critique with it is that his vocabulary is rather limited, but aside from that, he can definitely write well. Another good thing worth noting is that the instrumentals are really good. They’re deep, complex, and pleasing to the ear. The song that I feel is the most enjoyable is “Lo-Fly.” It’s a laid back and easy listen. He doesn’t try to race through his verses and adds some vocal fluctuations to give the song some character. It’s not at all perfect, but I think it shows the potential of the artist quite well.
My final thoughts are that Lil’ Nuts is an artist who needs to buckle down and clean up his body of work. He’s got the basics down for the most part, but it’s the little details, such as mixing, breathe control, and vocabulary that are preventing him from excelling.
Highlights: Production, Flow