Her Ballad (Dymeclin)
Rappers seem to keep getting younger. Earl Sweatshirt and his rhymes continue to raise the bar of lyrical achievement, and Joey Bada$$’s retrospective style is gaining steam. They’re just a few examples of a growing list of artists who are bringing with them a darker, heavier (yet seemingly more minimal) production value to hip hop, with an emphasis on astute lyrical storytelling. They were born in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Now here comes a ’96.
Hailing from suburban Rockland County, NY, Bishop Nehru (note the naming scheme akin to Earl Sweatshirt) began by posting work on the Odd Future forum, gaining heat pretty rapidly. He’s opened for the Wu-tang Clan and released his first mixtape when he was 15. The track “Her Ballad” comes from his debut mixtape Nehruvia where he contemplates the ever prominent topic of attraction. Smooth and gentle, this track cruises nicely with the rest of the jazz-caressed mixtape. The production value as a whole has been aided by an eyebrow raising list of producers. It’s clear that he is falling under the radar of a lot of big names and they’re eager to collaborate.
Last month, Bishop released his collaboration with English electronic duo Disclosure, titled “You Stressin’”. Naturally there is less of a jazz influence to the track, yet the beat remains fairly minimal in comparison to Disclosure’s other work, which tends to be more upbeat and under the house genre. In this track it’s revealed that Bishop Nehru’s lyrical ability is steadily advancing. The way integrates references into his rhymes are much more condensed, leaving behind the linear poetry that took up a lot of his first mixtape.
His lyrical ability is undoubtedly strong, and with his age in mind hip hop fans should be sure to track what he’ll be releasing in the next few months. As his already impressive list of collaborations continue to grow, and with his upcoming album being a collaboration with veteran supervillan MF Doom, one can’t help but question whether or not he’ll be able to live up to all the hype. Despite all the names to back him up, he needs to reveal himself as an artist capable of standing on his own, for there are many growing artists that are capable and more than willing to take his spotlight.
– Arwin Chan