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While Boston might not historically be the most popping hip-hop scene, several artists today have found their niche adjacent to the boombap renaissance. At the front of this movement is Estee Nack, an MC notable for his gruff, boundless flow and frank lyrics. His discography runs deep and is full of gems, but as Nack grows in popularity off his relationship with Westside Gunn among others, he’s becoming one of the most interesting and essential artists in the scene to know. Here we will discuss some of his best projects.
Certainly Nack’s best project as a full artistic vision, he places a unique spin on the grimy East Coast sound with AfricanFolkMusic by imbuing it with allusions to his Dominican and African heritage. Samples and skits add to the a distinct atmosphere as he raps about his usual street shit, but with some subtle themes of empowerment and mixing in Spanish bars.
Listen to AfricanFolkMusic on Bandcamp
SurfinOnGold.Wav 1 & 2 (prod. Sadhugold.)
Estee Nack is one of the few lucky MC’s to get in touch with the ever gifted producer Sadhugold. for a full project (alongside Lord Jah Monte Ogbon and a Mach-Hommy / Fahim collab). Nack obviously does his thing, but the soundscape created by Sadhu is a thing of beauty; His unique brand of lofi, sparse jazz production places a one of a kind spin on the scene’s traditional style. Both of their albums together are among their best, but to see Sadhu take his talents to a broader roster would be great.
Listen to SurfinOnGold.Wav on Bandcamp
Triple Black Diamonds 1 & 2 (with Al.Divino)
You can’t tell the story of Estee Nack without Al.Divino. A fellow Massachusetts native, the two are tight knit, frequent collaborators who seem to have come up together. Divino’s voice certainly takes some getting used to, being so harsh that it amounts to a bark, but he has a phenomenal ear for beats and the two have strong chemistry. Triple Black Diamonds is their break through, but they have several projects together including their latest sequel.
Listen to Triple Black Diamonds on Bandcamp
Probably one of his most popular and acclaimed albums due to its big name feature lineup and availability, Baladas is a great starting point for Estee Nack. Bringing in artists like Daniel Son, Eto, and Recognize Ali, on top of being one of his more straightforward listens makes for something replayable and validating for an underground artist on the come up.
Papitas (prod. Giallo Point)
Fully produced by Giallo Point of The Winners, Papitas is similar to AfricanFolkMusic in its themes, but also brings in some memorable hooks and concepts.
Nack’s most accessible album, fully produced by Grubby Pawz, is full of fun, debaucherous anthems, features from the likes of Da Cloth, and a standout hook by JuneLyfe.
Banana Yacht (with Westside Gunn)
While his collab album with Westside Gunn and Stove God Cook$ was frankly underwhelming, Nack’s first appearance with the Griselda frontman remains one of his best verses and brought him to a whole new audience.