As his first project following his recent name change, NSTYX3’s Eye for an Eye EP is a great introduction to a new era of the rapper’s sound. Produced entirely by frequent collaborator Jerry3M, this nine tracker is a satisfying collection of sounds that culminate in both parties’ sharpest work yet.
I’ve been aware of the NSTY/Jerry partnership in the past thanks to the former’s work with California rapper YungFadedMane, but their chemistry is on another level. Jerry’s beats are slow and sensual, prioritising soft, slow burning atmospheres over hard-hitting rhythms. ‘Safety’ is the first major highlight in this regard as while the track’s momentum is impressive, the real appeal is the way in which NSTY’s vocals melt so gracefully into the instrumental. As with all of the best tracks on Eye for an Eye, the impeccable songwriting here results in highly charismatic hooks and verses that NSTY delivers with an unmatched slickness. Another immediate standout is ‘Im Baby’, which features an excellent vocal cameo from the incredibly talented Kyleo Blue. I’d like to hear more music from these two together, their duet here is one of the best moments on the project.
There is an argument that this project is slightly front-loaded, as the first four tracks are undeniably the best, but ‘Alone’ refutes that. The song well and truly lives up its title, sporting the outstandingly sombre production and a uniquely despondent delivery not seen anywhere else in the rapper’s discography. There’s much to admire about this mixtape, from the way that the duo have lovingly crafted these tracks from the ground up to the general flow of the tracklist, but what is most engaging about Eye for an Eye is the super clean mixing and mastering. Sonically, this is one of the best-sounding sets of songs that I’ve heard all year, and it’s obvious that a lot of love went into each and every process that propelled it towards its release.
– Chris (@108mics)