Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Nate G., an independent artist known as the “Rebel Hippie of the Dojo.” Though Nate G. is a Washington D.C. native, he derives immense influence from areas like Texas - something that he believes is echoed in his music. For ten years now, he’s been powering through a series of eclectic releases, the latest of which is ‘Soul FreQ EP,’ his eighth project. Is the EP worth digging into? It’s available right now, so let’s find out…
As exhibited above with the album art, ‘Soul FreQ’ is definitely an eccentric, bizarre experience. The opening of the record, ‘All I Ever Knew,’ has production by IGNORVNCE. (Each track on the EP is produced by a different person, which probably lends to its diversity.) The song is sort of bittersweet, as Nate G. muses about all he’s ever known is how to “get money and get paid.” He also digs into his mother’s death, something that resonates poignantly during his short monologue about her at the end of the tune.
The production of ‘All I Ever Knew’ employs atmospheric synthesizers that create an aura of mystique around Nate G. It’s interesting enough, but the productional highlights of the effort arise after the opening. X TaylorKing, for example, produced ‘I Want It.’ The instrumentation on the track is rather good, especially the beat. It’s a fresh sound that aids Nate G. in creating a contemporary landscape.
‘Subconscious Thoughts’ is probably the most introspective, even existential piece in the short collection. As a result, it exemplifies some of the depth I’d love for Nate G. to explore further in the future, and it’s one of the EP’s very best endeavors. ‘Wassup Wit U’ follows, incorporating a heavy dose of modern soul - a welcome addition to the album. 'Druggy,' a song produced by VinnyxProd, is heavily reminiscent of material off of Chance the Rapper's 'Acid Rain.' It offers some of the most fascinating production on the record - I love the palette of sounds Nate G. toys with on the track.
‘Ridin’ Round,’ produced by Canis Major and featuring Ben Kenobe, offers up a powerhouse finale with some fantastic compositions backing it. The two bounce off each other wonderfully and Nate G. is well served by tactfully chosen collaborators.
Nate G. releases music under Soul FreQuencies, an entertainment company that wants to “entertain, educate, and empower society through artistic mediums.” As a whole, ‘Soul FreQ EP’ is a solid, enjoyable effort. It’s worth checking out if you’re a hip hop fan. At times, though, Nate G. leaves you wanting a bit more lyrically. In the future, I’d love to see him dig even deeper into that realm. He showcases poetic musings that could turn him into quite the lyricist as he continues his journey. At that point, he'll move further toward educating and empowering society.
Get the album on Band Camp now!