Today, the weather was unusually warm for winter; the sun came out this afternoon, as the city (of Toronto) hit a high of 50. So, as I hit the street to make the most of this anomaly, I decided to give the homie Neb Doe a spin. The West LA native’s latest EP, “3-2-1,” is the perfect blend of bassy low tempo goodness. With influences that span from Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Eminem, to Gorillaz, Kid Cudi and Mos Def, his approach to hip-hop is sonically innovative, without being so out of the box that he loses ears. This project does an excellent job of speaking to what’s in while hinting at what’s next.
It kicks off with the soulful jazz saxophone driven “Intro (Symphony 35),” where Neb’s love of film bubbles to the surface amidst film stock and camera angle references. The sampled singer and echoey snaps on “They Know” create an atmospheric sound bed where Neb comes through with introspective – yet yolo-ish – live for the moment raps. The piano-driven “Oh My!,” and the Sister Sister sampled hook of “Go Home Roger,” show off Neb’s ear for production. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that all the beats were by entirely different producers, as they all have a cohesive feel.
“3-2-1” has a cinematic feel to it, making it ideal soundtrack music for your movements. Neb is a wonderful example of the diversity the LA scene currently has to offer, especially with the Compton vibe dominating the airwaves. This is perfect music to bump as the sun begins to hide in the horizon, and you’re rolling through the city with your windows down. Take an ear, and keep your eyes on Neb Doe!