No one on the streets of hip-hop in Africa has swagger like Nasty C at the moment, and 'Strings and Bling' is a befitting testament to that.
21-year-old South African rapper, Nsikayesizwe David Ngcobo, better known as Nasty C, caved through the industry ceilings with the release of his breakout mixtape, 'Price City', in April 2015.
Nasty C then solidified the new status that came with the attention he was getting with his impressive debut album, ''Bad Hair'', released in 2016.
The album featured the award-winning single, 'Hell Naw' and its popularity birthed an extended version, ''Bad Hair Extensions''.
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It is 2018 and following some delay, the much anticipated sophomore effort finally got released on Friday, July 6, and Nasty C, the talented rapper who was nineteen when he released his debut project, is now two years grown with more stories to tell.
''Strings and Bling'' is his first project since penning a deal with Universal Music Group and the 17 track project features A$AP Ferg, Rowlene and Kaien Cruz.
The album opens off with “Blisters”, a catchy, upbeat song of him counting his blessings alongside his blisters, which is followed up with the album titled track, ''Strings And Bling'', a song that starts with this violin theatrical beat that sounds like a clash of classic and urban production that adds an amazing feel to the music.
Over the continuous mind grasping chant of Kumbaya, Nasty C is the ghetto kid forming hard guy but still not afraid to let his emotions bare, as he sings, ''Love only visits on your birthday night, Can't judge a torn soul till you felt it's pain, Now heal me with all these chains''.
Strings And Blings is church music, the type of music that gets you on your knees confessing the sins you are yet to commit, as it heals and purges the depth of your soul.
Previously released singles, Jungle and King also feature strongly on the project as tracks where he reiterates his stand of aiming for the crown.
''No Respect'' is every rapper's bragging anthem, while ''Legendary'' is as majestic as it is infectious.
On ''U Played Yourself'', Nasty C begins by saying, ''I'm about to say all facts'', as he goes to give relationship advice.
South African singer/songwriter, Rowlene, who also featured on 'Bad Hairs', makes a return on one of the standout cuts, ''Send Me Away'' (SMA), a song that touches painfully on break ups, with the second verse covering a vivid exchange leading to the couples fallout.
''Another One Down'' is an introspective tune with the right musical elements, where he pushes his ego to the back seat and admits to his weaknesses.
''On the TV I kill it, when you meet me I kill it, Dead, dead ass until the point we get to speak and I kill it, looks are deceiving no kidding''.
Songs like,''Everything'' feat Kaien Cruz, ''Casanova'', ''Mrs Me'' and ''My Baby'', all display an element of his lover boy personae, while the album closes its curtains with ''Jiggy Jigga'' as he declares he is no celebrity, boastful of his feats since he stepped up in the game in 2016 as he rhymes, ''I'm street smart I'm gifted, the list goes on its endless''.
Strings and Blings is 52 minutes of fun, adaptable lyrics, a bountiful showcase of Nasty C the rapper/singer, and a well-scripted and convincing body of work that proves why he is rated highly when it comes to Hip-Hop not just in South Africa, but the continent as a whole.
Even though, the album does not exactly contain bad songs, there are a number of joints that lack substance, sounds tiring and uninspired.
The pressure of delivering a sophomore project off the back of the successes he has attained is well handled, with very little question marks, as the growth is visible not just in his delivery but in his topics and range, his choices of guest artists is well thought, with each of them bringing something extra to the table.
Across 17 tracks, there is a solid number which jumps at you and blows you away in terms of composition, the technical aspects and the wholeness of the music, just as there are others, which fail to catch your attention and categorizes as fillers.
If 'Bad Hair' was an impressive debut effort, then 'Strings and Blings' is a fairly solid follow-up album.
In general, Nasty C’s 'Strings and Blings' is a satisfying effort dipped in glistering production, melodies, charm, versatility, growth and the right attitude to achieve a delightful mix.
3-Worth Checking Out