Album Review: Bishop Nehru, “NehruvianDOOM”
Bishop Nehru’s first LP, “NehruvianDOOM,” officially dropped Oct. 6. As the title suggests, this was an explicitly joint project that saw the rapper team up with the eclectic MF DOOM. While DOOM provided the more cohesive sound that was missing from Nehru’s previous mixtapes, the collaboration failed to live up to its promising potential.
“Caskets,” one of the album’s best tracks, starts off with the lyrics, “Young blood, he’s smart and he’s tough, but he’s got a lot to learn about survival, and the man he’s gonna learn from is… Doom!” This verse represents the mentality of the album as a whole. Nehru, the up-and-coming East Coast rapper, serves as the protege to the prolific MF DOOM.
Both artists bring a lot to the album, but neither consistently shines throughout the project. It could be due to the fact that MF DOOM is more than twice Nehru’s age, but there is a noticeable disconnect between their verses. On the few tracks that MF DOOM raps with Nehru, the pair’s lyrics don’t have the same connection that they had on other joint productions from both artists.
This isn’t the first time that the two musicians have worked together. On Nehru’s 2004 mixtape, “The Mixtape,” DOOM produced two songs. Most notable of the two was “Lemon Grass,” which is on par with most of the songs on their most recent project.
Despite the disconnected artistry on this album, glints of Nehru’s insight and honesty are able to shine through. “Caskets” includes a young artists reflection on the many different factors that influence his life.
The sample heavy-production aspect of the album simply doesn’t benefit the rapper from the Empire State. Various clips serve as outros for over half the songs on the album, not helping the already fragmented nature of the album. The album in its entirety seems less like the coming out of a prodigious young rapper that Nehru fans would have liked to see, and more of a MF DOOM production showcase.
That being said, the beats in the album are just plain fun. MF DOOM’s across-the-board style is distinctly present in each song. Out of the nine total tracks, none of them stick to the same format as any of the others. The production on the penultimate song, “Great Things,” could easily fit into a ‘90s Tarantino movie, while “Mean the Most” sounds almost like an Atmosphere song (taking us back to 2004 when MF DOOM worked with Rhymesayers).
Although “NehruvianDOOM” falls short of its lofty potential, the separate contributions from both Nehru and MF DOOM give us glimpses of the quality music that made this venture such an anticipated album.
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