5 Reasons Why You Should Buy...: "Devil's Playground": "I Rap My A** Off On Every Song"

Friday, Sep 16, 2011 1:50PM

Written by Notar for SOHH

[With this week's new release of Devil's Playground in stores, rapper Notar gives his Top 5 reasons (from an "outside-looking-in" perspective) on why you should cop the long-awaited debut album.]

1. The Devil's Advocate

It's what I call a "front to back" [album], meaning you don't have to skip any songs. Because it's the debut album, you're gonna hear some different styles as some of these songs were recorded with different producers at different times. By the end of it, you will have a very clear idea of who Notar is as a person and an artist. This is a theme/concept record. Every single track relates to this character being locked inside the Devil's playground.

2. Change the Game

You are going to hear a genre-defying record. Notar is a firm believer in making great music. Yes he raps his a** off on every song with thought-provoking lyrics and substance, but you will also hear little splashes of his musically inspirations. He brings a wide array of influences to his sound, ranging from Miles Davis to Earth Wind & Fire to Pink Floyd to A Tribe Called Quest to Wu-Tang Clan, etc. He is "of the moment" but with a huge knowledge and respect for the past. He's no street corner rapper, but he'll step into a cipher anywhere and crush it. Not to mention he plays a little trumpet himself on the record.

3. The Beautiful Struggle

The third reason you should buy Devil's Playground is [for] the "chill factor". I don't mean that you can sit back and chill while you listen to it, which by the way you totally can (and I even recommend a little something to help out with the chillin', if you know what I mean). The "chill factor" is that you will most likely get the chills at some point [while listening to] this album because the emotion is so raw and the storytelling, it is so vivid that you get sucked into the life of this character navigating his way through the Devil's Playground (NYC). You sincerely feel the struggle, the passion, the determination and dedication all mixed in with a little bit of self-deprecation for good measure. Nothing has come easy for this dude. His Jansport [bookbag] was his landlord for the first three years in NYC. Nothing came easy -- money, respect, nothing. Notar has earned each and everything he's gotten through a blue collar work ethic and being a f*cking maniac on the mic. You aren't going to hear about wrist watches and necklaces. This is one of the most brutally real records I have ever listened to.

4. Wiz Kid

Another thing you are going to walk away with from listening/purchasing Devil's Playground is that Notar is waaaay smarter than he gets credit for. The level of intelligence and social awareness in his music is underrated and the best part is that you never feel like he's preaching to you. In fact, you may not even pick up on it because it is not so in-your-face as with other conscious MC's. It just blends in naturally. There will be times that you have to hit the rewind button to hear what he said and then pause it to think about it. The song "Stranger" is a great example of that! Instead of hearing it as an anti-war song, you get caught up in the life of this soldier, which is the point of view he sings from, because the verbal picture is painted so well, you feel like you are watching a movie. "I've been sent in to restore the peace, with my piece, up in the Middle East, you couldn't believe the sh*t I seen. My country's flag being burned in Baghdad, and my man's dad died here cause this is where they bag dad's". Some may not get the intelligent factor right off the bat because you hear songs like "Alcoholic" or "High til I Die" and think this guy is just some party dude. Then you listen to songs like "Seasons" or "Perseverance", and you realize the depth and complexity [within] his lyrics. No dummy could write songs like these.

5. The Fifth Element

The fifth and final reason why you should buy this album is because it has some incredibly deep and honest songs on there that address two topics in life that everybody has or will deal with in their lifetime, so everyone can relate. In these songs. He touches on topics that quite honestly he doesn't really talk about often, but through his music, he can express his feelings in what I'm sure was a very cathartic experience for him. The topics are love and loss; and the songs I'm referring to are "You Went Away" and "Choose to Run", which are by far two of my all time favorites. You learn throughout the album that he has lost some of the absolute most important people in his life. People that he's loved very deeply. He's a tough ass dude who is not afraid to use words like Love and express his feelings. Notar is a real man in that way. He is one of the most loyal people I know and it's pretty simple; you're either with him or against him. If he can't trust you, forget it, you're out of the circle. He has experienced so much pain in his life that he doesn't have time to bring in people that are going to cause him any more pain. On the flip side, he is totally appreciative of all his true friends and fans. He is a total Gemini and throughout the album you will see him facillate between Lover and Fighter, Rock Star and Starving Artist. He talks about his dad from time to time and it's obvious how much he misses him and looked up to him. Those chills I was mentioning earlier come from lines like this:"I watched my pops in a box, thinking maybe he could be breathin', I guess I was dreamin' and Karen was screamin' and Nonni was weepin' and Gayle on heroin, I inherited demons. I'm left with all women, no male figure around, my job to watch the home and hold the family down, and if he was around I know that this could be different and I had to write a verse just to tell you that I miss him".

You Decide. Will you purchase Devil's Playground?

To buy the debut album, just click here.

Preview the LP below:

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