Reviewed by Marvin Kimani
In 2015, Rapzilla named ‘nobigdyl’ as one of the artists to look out for in their freshman class of that same year. He released a mix-tape called ‘smoke signal’ soon after. Although a good project, it was only when his album ‘Canopy’ dropped in January 2017 that the Tennessee-based rapper cemented his name among the post-Lecrae generation of Christian Hip Hop (CHH) rappers.
This year he released ‘SOLAR’, which is his sophomore album that swiftly made it to the top 10 of the iTunes charts in its first week of release. After a couple of listens, one can easily hear why nobigdyl has garnered such a strong following. This album hosts an array of themes; relationships, past failures and hope being at the forefront. Nobigdyl has found a way to make the album introspective (sometimes tackling hard issues such as suicide) without being melancholic. This is possibly due to the strong blend of creatively crafted upbeat production and nobigdyl’s own seemingly effortless flows. It’s commendable how well each song fits into the context of the album, yet can easily stand on its own.
Songs to look out for include ‘cordial’ and the single ‘twenty eighteen’ which display the rapper’s own unique blend of lyricism, introspection and storytelling. ‘Pressure’ featuring John Givez and ‘be a man’ featuring WHATUPRG speak on relatable topics like the struggles of life and what it means to be a man.
If the sheer replay value of the album is anything to go by, then ‘SOLAR’ is a strong contender for a CHH album of the year award. Soon after its release, nobigdyl went on to sign a record deal that saw him becoming label mates with CHH favourites NF and Social Club Misfits. A great achievement for a relatively new artist.
As an avid CHH listener, this album has stood out as one of the best in the last 2 years. The time taken to perfect every song is evident and the quality of the project speaks for itself.
Nobigdyl has definitely become one of my favourites from the new wave of CHH artists. I would recommend this album to anyone who is into well thought out flows, catchy hooks and witty lyrics about life, love and God.
You can buy SOLAR here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/solar/1383313720