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Nasty C is blazing hot and has been for the last two years, The Little known Durban Kid rose up from obscurity and has emerged the face of African hiphop transcending cultural lines and shit, In December, He joined Davido at the 30BILLION gang grand finale tour in Lagos, He also recently just came back from performing in Ghana.

Critics and Industry heads think he has the potential to cross over to the States, We checked out his new album.

My friend who is crazy about Jungle asks me if I've heard the Nasty C new album. No, but I have a Twitter account and AKA put out an I-can't-wait-for-that-shit-to-drop and its really flashy everywhere around the young Durban native.

Then the memes. Then the acclaim. I knew I had something on my hands yet before I pressed play, I took a deep sigh and prayed for a dope album which wouldn't lean on star power and influence. 

Will my prayer be answered? 

The album opens with Blisters, Nasty C is rapping about his conversations with God and about his inner glow, that appeal that stems from his part stubbornness, part acknowledgement of his study time. Calling himself Jiggy Jesus, shades of his idols' (“Jiggy K Dot, Jiggy Rakim, Jiggy Jay, Jiggy Ye” – Do You Digg) .  Givenchy rides on the same skate board. Nasty is displaying his "infatuation" with fashion, seeing that he rapped about Balenciaga slippers on Blisters

Casanova is a laid back, stripped strings melody.  He is a casanova on My Baby, singing "You my baby, my biaaatch", profiling that weirdly fascinating moment when you are so so proud that she's yours and feeling so protective of her perfect body. 

As is Hip Hop tradition, every MC needs to validate his greatness and skill on the mic by his words on the mic. On this project, Jiggy Jigga and No Respect are the joints that balances the struggle of earlier days with an abundance of self accomplishment and lyrical dexterity. Nasty C proves to be a master of witty and well, nasty (Pun Intended) one liners with "Got the Devil asking for a pic". 

However, the album takes its flesh from the relationship indulging tracks. Mrs Me is a sad and poetic rendition of the depths love could push one to ("I haven't made it if I haven't made your day"), the pain of having to go through the complexities of an already complex situation in a relationship. On Everything, storyteller Nasty recalls the day he met an enchantress whose "jeans were a tight fit, imaginary crown fit". U Played Yourself is a pointing finger at a distraught lover while SMA is angry, his female companion asking him to "send me away". The delivery bearing a semblance to Eminem's on Love The Way You Lie. Rowlene puts in an exceptional vocal performance and verse two dips into several POVs, no doubt Nasty C is growing his skill as a storytelling rapper. 

The closest songs to fillers on S&B are King and Do You Digg, both suffering from an apparent lack of conviction in the words being said, even though the latter is a pre released single featuring A$AP Ferg and the numbers are massive and it sounds like a song that should grow on you eventually (It does). Legendary holds testament to a kingly power to craft catchy songs that are no lyrical slouches either. "You could do a lot if you shut up" is certainly in contention for best line of the album. Who gave such OG wisdom to a twenty one year old? 

Strings and Blings has a haunting Kumbaya shouted behind Nasty's exhaustion. Truth in the bars "Love only visits on your birthday night //Can't judge a torn soul till you felt it's pain" Gravy is light rain to the torrents of emotion present on S&B.

Another One Down is perhaps the most important song of the album. Over the solo of a piano, Nasty C's first words are a dual persona engagement, till he bends into how he's a fake, how he "pretends to be open, pretend to be clear". Self doubt is the major theme of the song, shattering pre-conceived notions of his seemingly coolness, apparently, fandom is the vehicle which drives home his point. You – the listener – is just another one down. And wouldn't we do and say anything for someone whom we've turned blind to their weaknesses and averageness? 

Strings and Blings is a solid project. Nasty C's decision to speak his peace with the blinding lights of global recognition on him proves him to be not just the coolest kid in Africa, but the ideal one. 

Download Strings and Bling here

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