One of the scene’s greatest songwriters, vocalists and producers, Nachi aka Nachito really does it all. Their output in 2021 has been nothing short of fantastic, comprising two full length projects and a handful of quality singles. I chose Nachi for my latest artist insight because I feel that their music deserves comprehensive analysis from anyone interested in the direction that underground rap is taking in 2021.
First on the agenda is the semi self-titled project Nachivelli, an eighth track album that begins with a handful of futuristic trap cuts (‘Spin Attack!’ is my favourite of these) featuring near-breathless verses and some excellent hook work (single ‘Whisky+Lemonade’ is a serious earworm). After the dance-pop chaos of ‘Neon Lights’, things begin to take a much softer tone. This leads to the strongest suite of tracks in the rapper’s discography, beginning with ‘Cold’. This song gives me chills every single time thanks to its beautifully textured beat, emotive, reverb soaked verses and pitch-shifted hook: ‘Goddamn, this hurts my soul. Stuck in a problem I can’t control. Time passes by, it’s time to go. Now my body’s feeling cold’. ‘Flight’ embraces 2000’s pop lyricism with its bittersweet message about letting go of pain and beginning life anew, guest artist Big Dimp’s verse expanding on the same themes. ‘Aches’ arguably goes even crazier, an epic, Button Maker-assisted conclusion to an album brimming with incredible production choices and a brilliant blend of pop-influenced songwriting and extremely diverse production, both from Nachi themselves of course.
Their newer mixtape Dawg Days breaks the self-produced streak somewhat, featuring a variety of beats from others, including Big Dimp, NandoInTheBando and Button Maker. The self-produced joints are some of the best on the tape (‘Feral’, ‘Captain’ and ‘Tiburon’ all offer completely different sounds but are equally dope), but the guests more than pull their weight. Dimp handles the explosive title track, Nando the most obviously hyperpop-sounding track ‘Badtz-Maru Bust Down’ and Button the darker-sounding ‘Ritual’. The Demon Pop representation here is satisfying, with members that I’m less familiar with such as Hennessy Hendrix and Faust The Owl Chemist getting a real chance to shine. The features in general are all pretty good, and although they feel less carefully curated than on Nachivelli this makes sense as Dawg Days is is a more casual project in every sense of the word. It’s even exclusive to SoundCloud! Mothgirl steals the show on ‘Control Devil’, their ludicrously detailed lyricism striking gold once again.
Of course, there’s plenty of other projects in Nachi’s discography to explore. They’ve been releasing music for a while now, and though these recent projects are a definitive stylistic evolution for the rapper their SoundCloud is well worth a deep dive if you like any of the music mentioned above.
Listen to Nachivelli & Dawg Days below and check out Nachi’s SoundCloud for the rest.
– Chris (@108seraph)