STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 175033-28191 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
It's clear from the anti-abortion T-shirt that Melbourne-based hip hop artist Nobee One wears on the cover of this 2013 release that he's out to make a statement and he continues in the same vein once the disc is slotted into the CD player. Having said that, the baseball-capped rapper lulls the listener into a fall sense of security early on with the likes of the old school rap of "Ready Or Not" and the actually hilarious Eminem parody "His Name Is" staying just the right side of cliché and one gets the sense that Nobee knows that he's not the coolest emcee on the planet - not helped by an unapologetically thick Australian accent that flies in the face of those streetwise American and London tones that currently dominate the scene. However, he plays this to his advantage in order to get the gospel message across in unwavering fashion and, at the end of a number of tracks, our man is found reading directly from scripture once he's finished rapping and this drives things home with conviction and authority. Utilising an inventive and refreshingly non-R&B backing, Nobee One momentarily ditches the rock, funk and soul-tinged sounds that work so well to offer up a completely acappella rap that gives his thoughts on gay marriage from a Christian's perspective. In fact, any believer struggling to articulate their thoughts on this thorniest of issues whilst still trying to communicate the unconditional love of God should listen to "Mackle Intro" - such is the wisdom, respect and love with which Nobee delivers his monologue. That being said, Nobee One soon lays into American rapper Macklemore - responding directly to the superstar's pro-LGBT "Same Love" song - on the somewhat brutal "Mackle Morality" in a way that makes earlier shots at Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Oprah Winfrey seem like pea shooter fire. Nobee's uncompromising views will undoubtedly rub some people up the wrong way but all of this makes for a gripping and sometimes unpredictable listen. Nonetheless, it's not all sold gold with poorly-executed tracks like "Livin' For Jesus", "Sing Jesus" and "I Cannot Fathom" proving that Nobee One is definitely a rapper not a singer and failing to make the grade in relation to standard of material found elsewhere on this release.
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