16 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

These R the Tales feels a bit like a collection of odds and ends — especially following the highly focused Daiquiri Factory — but it nonetheless offers a number of Nickatina classics. The title song, replete with the circus-like undertones so beloved by the rapper, is a continuation of the legendary “Freaky Tales,” the epic song by Nickatina role model Too Short. Nickatina’s take brings the theme to outlandishly goofy heights, with names like Chamere, Sable, Dallion and Tessy. Other standouts include “CherryBananaPumpkinPie” and “Sey Hey,” both of which highlight the rapper’s formidable fast-rap skills. It wouldn’t be a Nickatina album if he wasn’t digging some new sonic territory. This time it’s the lo-fi Jamaican rhythms of “Rose” and “Saw a Gangsta Cry.” As hunchbacked as his reggae interpretations are, there is something about these rhythms that brings out the emotion in the rapper. Both songs are poignant, and the breakup detailed in “Rose” is arguably Nickatina’s most vulnerable moment on record.

EDITORS’ NOTES

These R the Tales feels a bit like a collection of odds and ends — especially following the highly focused Daiquiri Factory — but it nonetheless offers a number of Nickatina classics. The title song, replete with the circus-like undertones so beloved by the rapper, is a continuation of the legendary “Freaky Tales,” the epic song by Nickatina role model Too Short. Nickatina’s take brings the theme to outlandishly goofy heights, with names like Chamere, Sable, Dallion and Tessy. Other standouts include “CherryBananaPumpkinPie” and “Sey Hey,” both of which highlight the rapper’s formidable fast-rap skills. It wouldn’t be a Nickatina album if he wasn’t digging some new sonic territory. This time it’s the lo-fi Jamaican rhythms of “Rose” and “Saw a Gangsta Cry.” As hunchbacked as his reggae interpretations are, there is something about these rhythms that brings out the emotion in the rapper. Both songs are poignant, and the breakup detailed in “Rose” is arguably Nickatina’s most vulnerable moment on record.

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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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