18 Songs, 1 Hour

EDITORS’ NOTES

Raven – Cocaine Raps, Vol. 1 does the valuable service of compiling Andre Nickatina’s first two underground albums, which were originally released in such limited quantities that they started circulating for hundreds of dollars in the online auction market. Cocaine Raps, released in 1997, and Raven In My Eyes (released a few months later) were the albums that introduced the rapper’s Andre Nickatina persona, following several years during which he performed under the name Dre Dog. The songs here build on the two outstanding Dre Dog releases, but the Nickatina persona is even more raw and unhinged. Producer Nick Peace never fails to come up with singular beats, most of which would stymie even the most seasoned rapper. And yet Nickatina digs into every song with feral authority. Informed by West Coast gangster rap stylists DOC and Mac Dre, “Nickatina Creation,” “Diamonds and Carats” and “Cobra Status” are Cadillac anthems for a self-made netherworld. Even as he wrestles with forces of darkness and debasement, “3 a.m.” and “The Carnival” are almost merry, in the most disturbed sense of the word.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Raven – Cocaine Raps, Vol. 1 does the valuable service of compiling Andre Nickatina’s first two underground albums, which were originally released in such limited quantities that they started circulating for hundreds of dollars in the online auction market. Cocaine Raps, released in 1997, and Raven In My Eyes (released a few months later) were the albums that introduced the rapper’s Andre Nickatina persona, following several years during which he performed under the name Dre Dog. The songs here build on the two outstanding Dre Dog releases, but the Nickatina persona is even more raw and unhinged. Producer Nick Peace never fails to come up with singular beats, most of which would stymie even the most seasoned rapper. And yet Nickatina digs into every song with feral authority. Informed by West Coast gangster rap stylists DOC and Mac Dre, “Nickatina Creation,” “Diamonds and Carats” and “Cobra Status” are Cadillac anthems for a self-made netherworld. Even as he wrestles with forces of darkness and debasement, “3 a.m.” and “The Carnival” are almost merry, in the most disturbed sense of the word.

TITLE TIME

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

Songs

Albums

Videos

Listeners Also Played