Rad Reef Proudly Presents: Lowavader2 by Naggy
I was recently regaled with the story of how, one night while snorkeling, a close friend of mine concocted a scheme. With the determination of a mad scientist stoner, he sealed off the snorkel tube with tape, save for a small hole -- into which he placed a blunt. As any experienced weed physicist would suspect, the blunt immediately burned through, filling his mask with smoke. While assumedly coming up coughing and gasping for non-marijuanated air, my boy also came to find the transparent plastic, as well as his face, covered in the nastiest black resin and tar. Serendipitously, I believe this anecdote, in all its illadvised stonerisms, is the physical embodiment of NagChampa13's newest tape.
Coming off a name change from Lowa Letta, NagChampa seems to have experienced a spiritual rebirth. "Psychedelics over errything" might as well be Naggy's mantra coursing through, Lowavader2: Return to the Core. But Naggy's vivid description of South Florida wildlife mixed with sexcapades, enhanced by rampant drug use, glued together with the unlikely medium of hip-hop, saves the tape from being yet another ode to mind bending strips and shrooms. Each disparate element above has its own namesake track (those dedicated to women far outnumbering everything else), but Naggy is at his best when he is able to unite these concepts with the ever-bouncy and unique beats. This is seen to greatest effect on the final track, Enter the Core, fitting as the eponymous apotheosis for the tape. Like the venus flytrap referenced on track 2, Naggy is able to lure the listener into his zany, tripped out world by making it immediately accessible.
Technically, Naggy affects a slacker, strung out flow, which at times sounds like he's barely trying. Regardless of his potential abilities, the emphasis is definitely not on complex, multisyllabic fast-raps. Hook repitition, honesty, and the keen aptitude for mood ('vibes') are Naggy's biggest strength's on the tape. The unassuming flow belies the headier concepts evident when the music is fully examined. Naggy strikes me as the kind of guy who could chop it up for hours on some sacred geometry shit, but still in the same laidback, almost monotone vibe. At the same time, he's a rapper with the ability to delve into new age spiritual propositions of sharing psychedelics with a lover, while also dipping back into the raw, nasty hook of "Imma fuck you all night" on the aptly named 11th track.
While there may be an undue amount of sex jam favoritism on the album, tracks like Naggy Cascade (featuring fellow Floridian up-and-comer Denzel Curry) show that when Naggy can pull it off, it's just so right. Here, both rappers channel a Aquemini-era Andre 3000 with funked out, jazzy background wails. Near the back end of the album, Naggy's metaphor game has ascended to equating yo girl's pussy with 'another dimension' to explore. Indeed, the blending of sexual and natural imagery kaleidoscoped through psychedelics shows Naggy is coming into the album with a fully developed internal mythology and unique style, rather than following a trend.
At the end of the day, Lowavader2: Return to the Core is perhaps best described as a medium for fantasy/wish fulfillment, achievement of a near dream state. Curry's bars, ironically, exemplify this attitude: "As I sit here in my voluptuous, white, cocaine Benz... as I look across a comet I see a smooth playa mack in my mirror... which is myself." Naggy is not one to put on a front, but the drug and sexual references seem less like anecdotes grasping for authenticity than painting a potential portrait of the South Florida landscapes, as yet only explored by Naggy's collaborators, such as Lofty305 of Metro Zu. It's an exercise in self-creation, as well as psychedelic self-reflection, best described by Naggy himself: he's an intergalactic mystical shaman, rap is his medium, but he's content to bring in Darth Vader, Space Jam, Pac-Man samples, and absurd lewdity, all in the attempts of carving out his own South Florida island. It's NagChampa13, this is his world of free-associative storytelling, and it's on you to imbibe your favorite substance and try to follow along.