There’s always been room for the eccentric in hip hop. Kool Keith provided that throughout the 90s & all the way to this very day, Lil B provided that for the internet generation in the 2010s. This generation seems to have Rx Nephew, who’s main appeal is picking up that newer Detroit punch-in style but in a stream-of-consciousness format. His fearless to drop, dropping upwards of thousands of songs, over any style of production while saying whatever comes to mind has made him a figure to look out for.
His newest project, 2:22, is surprisingly one of his better ones. As his last couple of projects have been some of his most grating to date, titled annoyingly as I Recently Died And Came Back To Life &
GTA HOUSE IN THE HILLS, but this one seems to be more of his forte. Diving into the more modern Plugg style, his style feels more suited to fit these pockets. While his previous works saw him going over stranger production such as rock or weird electronic samples, the production here is much more pleasant being an easier listen for that reason alone.
Rx Nephew – 2:22 [Full Album]
Some long time listeners might be disappointed there isn’t some crazy long ranting track, like he’s done on “American TTerroristt” or more recently “I Got 5 Pair of Amiri Jeans” from Transporter 4, but that’s also what makes this one more digestible. The intro track “Beautiful” is quite a perfect name for it, having this lush beat paired with a guitar that rips through it subtly as Nephew’s bars about his girl work perfectly together. “Can’t Cure Me” is more of the funny bar style that fans are more accustomed to, where he finds a specific scheme & makes that the majority of the song with absurd bars. Normally this could get grating quick, but the more subdued style of beats give a more laidback feel that don’t get tiring as quickly.
Rx Nephew – Beautiful
His style wasn’t as goofy earlier in his discography, a lot of tracks on his self-titled album are a bit more on the serious side. We get a bit of that here too, the track “Pain Won’t End” allows him to tap back into that side of himself. Sure there’s a couple joke bars here but the overall messaging is much more serious than the majority of his tracks. It feels focused & with purpose rather than loosely connected bars with no overarching purpose.
Rx Nephew has found his own lane doing whatever he wants, but more than likely the music won’t stand well for years to come. That’s where 2:22 fills its role, its one of the rare projects in his discography that feels replayable. His rapping ability & skills are clear, he’s got the voice & a real mindset for freestyling, but he rarely makes something focused. This project feels like the closest we can get out of him, an overall focused sound & some semi-focused tracks that don’t overstay their welcome with the short track length. One day though, just as his contemporaries before him, he’ll need to make something truly focused to make a true impact on hip hop.