14 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As strip-club culture becomes a more prominent part of mainstream rap culture, it’s a relief to see a true subversive like Nickatina worm his way into the conversation. These songs are bass-oriented and the intoxicating effect of females is unquestionably at the heart of “Pineapple Juice,” “She’s in Love With the Camera” and “Baddest Bitch On the Planet.” However, the album is by no means a mindless celebration of strip-club culture. “Contract Out On Cupid” shows signs of a stress than can not be alleviated by the party: “Man, I’ve been fightin’ my addictions with thangs that make me addicted / Man, welcome to the rap world, baby girl it’s twisted.” Strangely, the album’s best track feels out of place. “Zestways” is a hyper-focused drug-rap anthem that features uproarious energy from two of Nickatina’s spiritual offspring, Husalah and the Jacka. The song’s gritty anger is countered with “My Friend Mac Dre,” in which Nickatina pays tribute to his murdered comrade by ceasing to rap. With withering clarity, Nick Peace’s somber beat articulates the sadness felt by an entire region.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As strip-club culture becomes a more prominent part of mainstream rap culture, it’s a relief to see a true subversive like Nickatina worm his way into the conversation. These songs are bass-oriented and the intoxicating effect of females is unquestionably at the heart of “Pineapple Juice,” “She’s in Love With the Camera” and “Baddest Bitch On the Planet.” However, the album is by no means a mindless celebration of strip-club culture. “Contract Out On Cupid” shows signs of a stress than can not be alleviated by the party: “Man, I’ve been fightin’ my addictions with thangs that make me addicted / Man, welcome to the rap world, baby girl it’s twisted.” Strangely, the album’s best track feels out of place. “Zestways” is a hyper-focused drug-rap anthem that features uproarious energy from two of Nickatina’s spiritual offspring, Husalah and the Jacka. The song’s gritty anger is countered with “My Friend Mac Dre,” in which Nickatina pays tribute to his murdered comrade by ceasing to rap. With withering clarity, Nick Peace’s somber beat articulates the sadness felt by an entire region.

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About Andre Nickatina

With a penchant for old-school rhymes and lo-fi beats, Andre Nickatina hails from the West Coast. He released Cocaine Raps and Raven in My Eyes simultaneously on the Dogday imprint, but it was the trilogy of 1999's Tears of a Clown and 2000's These R the Tales and Daiquiri Factory Cocaine Raps that put Nickatina on the West Coast circuit. After these releases emerged during what was highly regarded as his golden period, Nickatina followed up in 2003 with the highly ambitious CD/movie project Conversation With a Devil. ~ Rob Theakston

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