Nasty C released his Sophomore album ‘Strings and Bling’ on the 6th of July and his very active following took to listening as early as they could and post reactions on social media. The 21-year-old from Durban did not hesitate to repost; I was swayed and gave it a listen. By my first listen I could tell it was something special. I was immediately moved to pen down the expressions I was able to realize through the sonics, Itemized in a track by track breakdown:
Blisters – is the intro, Nasty C eases into the song with calm lines that ask the listener to search for self-confidence to discover inner beauty. He raps ‘When I count my blisters I count my blessings’ looking at the scars he has now from falling, they have ultimately blessed him with the unique worldview he has.
Strings and bling – The second track is thematically around his personal struggles and how he uses vanity as a coping mechanism. Its first verse has some of the most melancholic lines on the album.
I tell my secrets to a bottle
I trusted over a couple people that I know
I tipped over I really got suicidal
I felt way too guilty so I read the bible
Not for forgiveness I did that shit for survival
Born in the system but bitch I broke out the cycle
I took off from the ditches but still got homies inside
Evil runs loose every day and night
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
Even at the heights he is now, he is still not happy and is riddled with survivor’s guilt and suicidal tendencies. Expensive chains have become significant in the vein of distraction from pain.
Jungle – One of two tracks released as singles; Jungle a lively song touting the unbridled nature of Nasty C’s sexual life. He reminds us that it wasn’t always like this;
‘Masturbate addiction in the seventh grade [yeah]
Now I tell her make that booty levitate [levitate]’
Life is wild, it’s a jungle out here.
No respect – This minute-long track exhibits playfulness, which leads me to think it’s probably a freestyle. The drums and kicks in the beat are guaranteed to have you moving from side to side.
Legendary is an introspective bop that touches his personal life, friends, fans and rap status. Making a statement that he is legendary and anyone who thinks otherwise should do something more worthwhile with their breath.
Ape take care of one another
An ape don’t give a fuck about colour
Am I the GOAT or the BOAT I wonder?
How did I get here in London?
Ivyson grippin’ on bunions
Ivyson hanging with gunmen
You Played Yourself – This song spans across relationship advice, infidelity, and marriage as a failing institution today. A message to romantics not seeing all the things which are apparent, to learn from past mistakes.
Take this love you have devoted in a stranger and invest it equally in what you see when you imagine your greatest self yourself and what you see when you look in the mirror he 100% guarantees you will find gold
King – The second single that premiered on Ebro’s show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio. Nasty C did a great job of exhibiting the flair in his rap skills, still being the main attraction when paired with A$ap Ferg.
Do u digg – Here he brags about the power that comes with his status.
Gravy – This track rides a cool, somber, intoxicated tone. It seems like an ode to his journey, and the friend’s he’s lost, but right now he’s so high he wishes you could feel what he feels.
SMA – On a sample of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, Rowlene’s vocals put you in another atmosphere. Nasty C raps from two perspectives; firstly, complaints from a person whom he loves but still continues to hurt, and from his perspective and the things that hurt him too. Their relationship is complicated with scars they haven’t fully gotten over, but the love is still there, so they’ll try to work through it.
Another One down – An honest, solemn rendition from a loner, feeling alone and confused. Expressing that he’s not exactly the idea of him that everyone has.
Too many spirits within me. My personality is constantly shifting – I’m the most humble but act different next minute
It may also highlight anxiety & antisocial behavior, that have shaped him into the person he is now.
Everything – Sweet ballad describing a love that won, in its awkward and imperfect forms. Kaien Cruz’s ethereal voice is something to behold.
Casanova – Here he mulls over his journey with his friends, they started from the bottom now they’re here.
we got this off the floor we had No capital, its fucking magical
Mrs Me – Nasty C professes deep love, and intent to provide any form of care & affection to the woman he wishes would be his wife. He fucks up, but she sees beyond that and doesn’t judge him. He contemplates the beauty of what they have together and his shortcomings that constantly threaten its existence.
I owe you a rose for every breath you take, I owe you all the love god invested in heaven and a necklace that says you come before second place, and make up for the empty space I left, my greatest mistake.
My Baby – An ode to sexy, confident women. The uplifting keys, a summer soundtrack on Instagram vibe.
Givenchy – Upbeat, high tempo, vulgar trap song. Expressing the tenets of his fast life. Unlocks a level of Travis Scott finesse, and is undoubtedly that song to Milly rock to, on the album.
Jiggy Jigga – Nasty C doing Nasty C things; tearing his beats into pieces.
Stream ‘Strings and Bling’ on Apple Music