(I submitted this review to another hip-hop blog earlier this week; might as well share the love with my viewers/readers over here, too.)
Let me (re)introduce myself--I'm Speed on the Beat and I am a relatively unknown--but still pretty accomplished--rapper/music critic. I feel that that must be said to qualify what I'm going to tell you about music for the foreseeable future. Why? Not to toot my own horn, of course, but so you don't think I'm just another stan/fan that thinks they know about hip-hop but couldn't tell Wale from P-Whale. Yes, there is a rapper named P-Whale—who’s also from Nigeria and on YouTube—but I digress.
Recently, I received the newest track from @J_Nolan, "Fortified MC," from his upcoming Distinction project. With minimalist, sepia-tinged accompanying visuals from thePEST and production from Frontier, the song starts out simple enough; go-go drums permeate through the track and the beat's not too difficult to digest. But, with a flow reminiscent of simultaneously J. Cole and Crooked I, Nolan's effort begins to take on a life of its own. And because he chooses to prove his fortitude without dropping profanities every two seconds, it comes off, personally as a fresh take on the typical bragging track. Nolan's specialty on this track is the punchline. Normally, I'm the guy that dislikes songs with punchline after punchline, but Nolan's generally effortless flow makes for an enjoyable song. I hadn’t heard much from J. Nolan prior to this submission, but I’m actually looking forward to his new tape. From me, that's a compliment equal to "THIS NINJA IS THA GAWD MC," by the way. Distinction drops in June.