12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Along with Freestyle Fellowship, Busdriver and Abstract Rude, Nocando emerged from Project Blowed, a collective of erudite and highly technical rappers who cut their teeth at open-mic workshops in South Central Los Angeles. While Nocando is a champion battle rapper (he won the 2007 Skribble Jam freestyle contest), Jimmy the Lock is more bizarre and personal than anyone could have expected. In a way the album is a mutant cousin to 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye’s strange and successful confessional. Both albums rely heavily on layers of frosty, teeth-rattling synthesizer, and both explore their authors’ tenuous emotional states. Jimmy the Lock is more insular of the two, but it’s also a more exciting listen. Nocando is a self-described “cool black nerd,” and like many hyper-literate yet under-appreciated rappers, he rails against the mainstream rap industry (“Hurry Up and Wait,” “Never Lie”), but he is much more interesting when he’s indulging his vices. The album’s centerpiece is “21,” undoubtedly the most gloriously hedonistic drug-induced sex rap you’re ever likely to hear.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Along with Freestyle Fellowship, Busdriver and Abstract Rude, Nocando emerged from Project Blowed, a collective of erudite and highly technical rappers who cut their teeth at open-mic workshops in South Central Los Angeles. While Nocando is a champion battle rapper (he won the 2007 Skribble Jam freestyle contest), Jimmy the Lock is more bizarre and personal than anyone could have expected. In a way the album is a mutant cousin to 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye’s strange and successful confessional. Both albums rely heavily on layers of frosty, teeth-rattling synthesizer, and both explore their authors’ tenuous emotional states. Jimmy the Lock is more insular of the two, but it’s also a more exciting listen. Nocando is a self-described “cool black nerd,” and like many hyper-literate yet under-appreciated rappers, he rails against the mainstream rap industry (“Hurry Up and Wait,” “Never Lie”), but he is much more interesting when he’s indulging his vices. The album’s centerpiece is “21,” undoubtedly the most gloriously hedonistic drug-induced sex rap you’re ever likely to hear.

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3:43
3:34
4:33
2:36
3:25
3:12
3:27
3:07
2:30
4:28
2:35
3:40

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