Though underground Hip-Hop is a widespread and hugely varied plain of artistic presence, one might be hard-pressed to find a mind as on-the-ball or as down to Earth as Uncommon Nasa. I first became a fan of his in 2013 upon receiving his full-length LP Land of the Way It Is. In many ways, the title of that album works as a signifier of Uncommon Nasa’s whole oeuvre. His penchant for hard-hitting, forward thinking but definably honest boom-bap is composed of an esoteric but direct dialect, one that recalls the likes of Billy Woods and MF Doom while being entirely his own unique way of story- telling. But his involvement with his local scene also makes him especially important and prolific. As head of Uncommon Records he’s released albums by Short Fuze, Gajah, and Aeon Grey, very much doing his bit in the fight to put great rap music on the map.
Halfway, his new full-length which comes out today (13th October), finds Uncommon Nasa in perhaps his most self-aware and vulnerable state yet. Mostly concerned with one’s own mortality and ideas of death, it’s an album that has morbidity in spades as well as glimmers of a light at the end of the tunnel. Just like all his previous work, it’s so tangible because it’s told from the street level upwards. It feels like an encapsulation of modern suburban New York, but it’s also perhaps his most directly personal work to date. It takes in the notions of everyday life and forces them into the context of the bigger picture, all over the course of 12 sublime, catchy and rigidly New York Hip-hop tracks. I spoke to Uncommon Nasa at length about some of the themes of Halfway, and larger ideas of life and death. As you’ll see below, his answers provide evidence of his work ethic as well as his monstrously intelligent attitude towards life.
3.Ghosts Over Your Shoulder (Witch Short Fuze)
4.Love the Cold Like A Brother
5.Perchance to Dream
7.Why I Stopped Watching the News
8.We Living In These Dark Times
9.Having Too Good of A Time (Witch Black-Tokyo & Carl Kavorkian)
11.Skin Tells Stories (With Skech185)
12.My Music Is Our Children
FLAC – Datafile
320 kbps – Datafile