Review Summary: Heems pretty much makes a sweet mixtape namsayin'?
I haven’t done much or stretched my creative muscles in a long time. I usually spend my time eating heated-up leftovers in front of my laptop whilst downloading and listening to exceedingly large amounts of hip-hop and indie rock. Socializing (other than through the internet) has practically become a lost art to me. My inability to do things stems from laziness and being poor, so when Heems talks, spits or whatever synonym for rapping you can come up with about these subjects, I feel I can relate in a way. There’s a difference between both our talks of being poor and lazy; whereas I complain about both of these factors, Heems brags about his laziness and lack of funds as if they were diamond chains or 40-inch rims bouncing on a car. Growing up in a poor Brooklyn neighborhood and being a multitude of ethnic minorities can do that to you.
On Nehru Jackets
, Heems is a braggart in every sense of the word. Popov, Dubra, cheap weed, and even cheaper clothing; it’s all material for Heems to wrap his hazy, relaxed flow around. He lives the lifestyle of a hermit, albeit one who graduated from a liberal-arts college and lives in an apartment with access to computers and television. Nonetheless, he is still a poor, in-the-Zen hermit with an enlightened view on my life. Listening to Jackets
reminded me of the Mike Judge classic Office Space in that it has an airy yet disheartening view on the working class. It seems like Heems shares those views of an easy lifestyle. Should Heems have to work to obtain cash? He doesn’t think so apparently, but in order to obtain said moolah, he has to work his ass off to sound lazy on Nehru
, and it works.
Of course Heems isn’t just all pop-culture references and rapping about being poor as if it were rapping about being rich. Heems also tends to rap about politics and the ideologies he believes in . Over some hard –ass drums and cheap, tinny synths on “NYC Cops”, Heems talks about how corrupt and dark New York police are, selling crack to immigrants and beating minorities to near-death while getting away with it under the post-Koch mayoral rule of New York City. There’s also talk of a lack of jobs and living space for Mexicans, Arabs, and more. What gets me is how blatant the manner in which all of the issues listed is talked about. Normally Das Racist is pretty subtle or clever with the social commentary but Heems just lets all of his abstract jumbles of emotions within his mind just tumble out, sometimes clumsily and sometimes in coherent form. Unsurprisingly enough, the political tracks are easily the weakest out of all of the material present, and at 25 tracks strong that’s too many to list.
“Straight shots of whiskey, with no Coca-Cola”
The above line is from the “Coca-Cola Freestyle”, which uses Bollywood-sounding vocal samples to lay down the template for a hard-snapping beat, and to me it represents the sound of Nehru Jackets
; Straight shots of the good stuff with no extra-flavoring or mixes to f*ck up the drink. Heems talks about simple stuff in the most open manner, such as wanting to “smoke blunts in lawn chairs” and drink “little drinks with umbrellas in them.” He’s the quintessential stoner-geek of any group, the one with the cheap weed and all of the best pop culture jokes and references. Well if the jacket fits, then wear it with pride.
with many excellent freestyles, Heems is no slouch in the song-crafting department either. “It’s the Drug I’m Needing” and “Womyn 2” are both excellent full length cuts, with the former working a soft, ethereal beat while the latter benefits from a shining Childish Gambino spot. Both have the typical song length of around 3 minutes and serve as reminders that while Heems may be at his strongest lyrically on freestyles, he can still spit a mean 2-3 sets of 16 bars without trouble or hesitation. Still, the freestyles are the best tracks everything –wise, including his tribute/commentary to Jason Bourne and the aforementioned Coca-Cola freestyle. Here Heems spits his cleverest, smartest and hardest sentences on all of the subjects and material he’s accumulated over the years.
Musically Nehru Jackets
consists of cheap synth work, looped Bollywood vocal samples, and neck-snapping drums. I mean the drums are kind of raw and unmixed but these are the hardest drums I’ve heard since El-P’s “Drones over BKYLN” dropped a few months ago. No other musical surprises lie in the wait, although these are some of the hardest head bangers I’ve heard in a while, especially on “Alien Gonzalez” and the creepy-factoring of “Swate”, where Lakutis spits creepy sh*t over a ghostly, skeletal beat. Other than that, nothing else changes much over the course of the album, musically or vocally.
I can finally say I’m the go-to-guy at my school for music recommendations, especially rap, and I will definitely push Nehru Jackets
as the next big thing, right up there with Spaceghostpurrp and the Green Ova crew. Heems is definitely spitting hard this time around after a lackluster performance on Relax and Kool A.D.’s tape ending up being complete bull***. Nehru Jackets
is Heems apology for having to deal with the groups BS, and a damn fine apology it is.