Dreams, the act of dreaming, and interpreting those dreams truly lie at the heart of Atlanta hip-hop collective/family Nobody Really Knows. You can choose to ignore them or you might seek to embrace them. It’s up to you. It can be about escape or it can be about anything in between. It truly doesn’t matter, or maybe it does. You are free to interpret. Andre McCloud presents some of the most interesting imagery and juxtapositions in his work.
“But deep down, I’m happy. Life’s swell, but my house is haunted. Go on and ring the bell.” Andre McCloud (the dream imagery is even in the name!) challenges the audience on the opening track of his debut Therapeautic Vapors. The song entitled “Never Been Average” serves as a fitting intro the mind of McCloud. The song is extremely honest (much like the work of other members in NRK like KC 2.0). It is also confrontational, boastful, but it’s also vulnerable. McCloud strikes an interesting balance in his music.
His eight-song album features Pyramid Vritra, Tyler Major, Pyramid Murdock, and Jay Cue, meaning that most of the NRK hallmarks are present in the instrumentals. The drumming/beats feel live. The synths are hazy. I think Mr. McCloud does the best job of describing his own music, however. He states on the group’s bandcamp page that: “Although there are mentions of canibus,Therapeutic Vapors also represents the stress of daily comformities. Break down the music while you take it in. Its not all weed rap. More of the unfortuante feelings you feel when you are coming back down to our less than heavenly reality.” It’s weed rap, it’s a stress release, and it’s interesting. Above all, it is something different and dynamic. NRK crafts hip-hop for the thinking person. The music challenges the audience and forces you to digest it. However, if this isn’t your idea of pleasant, you can simply let the waviness wash over you. Either way, it’s all good. You still have to salute the pyramids.
Andre McCloud // Never Been Average [mp3] from Therapeutic Vapors