It’s about damn time I wrote about some homegrown music.
Wellington-based rap artist Name UL dropped his collaborative EP with fellow kiwi, producer LMC, relatively out of the blue towards the end of last year. Albeit traditionally considered a late release, the timing hindered nothing, as hip-hop fans from around the country showed a keen affection to the three tracks, the surrounding themes of which mainly regard where Name UL came from, and where he plans to go (if you’re from the capital, get on this, you’ll relate.)
As always, something quick about the art: it’s perfect, echoing the audio. Somewhat abstract, low key, mysterious and ever so slightly dark, it's a fluent visceral translation of what you’d expect to hear. Having said that, don’t judge an EP by its cover as mum always says.
The first thing I noticed about Name was his flow. Wow. Dude slays bars like nobody’s business. The way he bounces through the words and fits them into calculated sentences to fit the work of LMC is very unique and very well done.
The EP opens with ‘Mavelli Drive’, a track that would be fair to say shows off more of LMC’s skill than Name UL’s. Towards the end of the spacey beat, however, Name chimes in with some powerful vocals which sets the tone for the rest of the record.
‘My Side’ follows, with the help of Zuper and Wayvee on the producing front. This is where the rap truly comes into play. The track touches on Name’s experience in his hometown - “it’s just that Welly state of mind”. This track was my favourite from the EP, great for chilling out to, but you could definitely smash some weights at the gym listening to it as well.
The EP rounds out with ‘No FOMO’, featuring the most interesting beats of the holy trifecta, taking on a somewhat traditional Asian influence, sampling wind instrument that flavour the track nicely. This is a dope track to lose yourself to. Really just sink into the vibe, and let it consume you - my favourite way to listen to music.
The only downfall of the EP is that it’s not long enough. It would have been nice to have a couple more tunes to vibe too, but alas, we can’t have it all. If you dig rap and you love where you come from, get on Name UL. He’s the man.