“A king isn’t a king if he has to announce himself”
Let’s be realistic, hearing the words ‘I told you so’ from any one human being is not any good at all, it probably means you’ve made a mistake…miscalculation…what have you, and someone proved you wrong. I have a very close friend who is still convinced that AKA’s Touch My Blood is better than Nasty’s Strings and Bling, and I promised myself that if Touch My Blood was better I’d review it and publicly admit to being wrong.
This is a Strings and Bling review. Connect the dots.
At 20, Nasty has honestly earned my utmost respect…not that it matters. Whether on production, a feature or even just being a fan of his comedy on Instagram, the way the young man remains the epitome of a rising star with the world at his feet, is crazy. I still remember hearing Juice Back the first time and had it on repeat for a good 3 or 4 times because we couldn’t get enough of the hyped beat drop when he tells to you he “just got his motherf*ckin’ (beat drops)”. Bad Hair has never been a favorite of mine to be honest because unfortunately, Mick Jenkins’s The Healing Component dropped on that very same day, and Juice Back wasn’t on Bad Hair anyway…kodwa asikho lapho.
It’s been a couple of years, a few sponsorship deals and country-wide tours later, he finally drops Strings and Bling. Almost a week or so after the equally anticipated Touch My Blood, and in my head, it’s barely a competitor. Nasty’s directly on Universal Music Group (this link here should explain the levels mchana). He’s not on social media trying to do the most with his personal life aiming to use it to promote the album, (we’ll discuss this some other time).
Maybe I wasn’t on social media, maybe I wasn’t watching him close enough, and maybe I’m not a fan enough…
…but I felt like he just dropped…and man was it a drop!
Blisters entrance was to me the perfect entrance to an album, the only other song I can think of that had me this hyped for the rest of an album was Royce’s Woke, and yes, we not going to just walk past the fact that he finally said something is Zulu in a song. From there, the rest of the hype music seemed so seamless, Strings and Bling, Jungle, Legendary and King (feat. ASAP Ferg) are songs I expect to hear on heavy rotation…Jiggy Jigga needs its own album quite frankly, what an ending.
I genuinely appreciate the homie’s growth when compared to the previous project. Lyrically it was almost immaculate…
“…My Puerto Rican bitches looking Coloured ekse; my Coloured bitches looking Puerto Rican ese…”
…I genuinely think another aspect that many rappers seem to overlook is beat selection. It says a lot about the project. Nasty’s name was in pretty much all of the credits. ‘Nsikayesizwe’ did the things. I’m proud of the homie. I cannot even begin to explain the vulnerability I felt off, SMA (feat. Rowlene), Another One Down, Everything (feat. Kaien Cruz) and Mrs Me…man, you do realize this guy is only 20. The feature list is minimalist and I honestly appreciate that this feels like it’s a personal project. Like it was just him. He didn’t need nobody else to prove that he’s dope. Almost pulled a Cole on us…almost.
Look all I’m saying is this. The Young King over here is certifying himself and I cannot wait to hear his next project, in terms of sound, the kid has grown and you can tell that this is still not his best, because…personally, I still feel he’s not experimenting too much, which is perfect because he’s still certifying his position in the industry but unfortunately, to his ‘peers’, he’s not competing with you anymore.
This album is global level fam. Excuse the barely ‘mustard’ energy here in coming up with a catchy closing line but dear rappers…KETCHUP!
Favourite Songs: Blisters, SMA, Mrs Me, Jungle, Jiggy Jigga
P.S. To the bro who made me write this, I told you so. Strings and Bling over Touch my Blood.
Think Differently? Hit us up in the comment section below, or even my socials. I’ll be waiting.