Nashville is best known to the general public for its country music scene. And, for us locals, it's the robust and booming DIY/ psychedelic/garage rock scene. So, it isn’t really surprising that this is the first hip-hop album I’ve reviewed since I started writing local music reviews more than a year ago.
What might be surprising, depending on your point of view, is that Music City is capable of producing something that sounds so distinctly non-Nashville.
Nashvillian, the latest release from lo- cal MC Dee Goodz, sounds a lot like something you would hear bumping in the types of clubs that aren't usually found here.
There’s thumping bass line, repeated mantras and phrases, and references to making money and selling drugs – typical for the genre.
Goodz describes his music as a blend of “club friendly trap with introspective tales;” the rapper delivers on only one of those descriptions.
The music certainly is club friendly. Other than a couple of F-bombs here and there, there’s nothing word wise that would prevent most of the songs on the album from getting airplay at a lot of clubs across the country.
My main issue is the introspective tales part, because let’s face it: trap music isn’t usually known for its lyrical depth. On the track “No Emotions,” Goodz repeatedly raps “Sweatin’ bullets on this 30 minute straightaway/ 20 yards, now that’s amazing babe/ bustin’ moves like that Michael Jordan fadeaway.”
The rest of the lyrics are about the same, I’m afraid. Also, there's nothing uniquely Nashville about the words; there aren’t any surface level references anywhere on the album beyond the admittedly clever title.
All of this would be fine if the beats behind the hooks were anything special, but they aren’t, just your generic beats that sound indistinguishable from every other trap rapper.
On a positive note, Goodz has a pleasant voice to listen to, if it is a bit monotone. His flow is a little bit more sing- songy than normal, which suits his style.
Taken all together, the album is pretty mellow, better suited for something to play in the background than being the focus of your activities.
Not all of the tracks are low tempo, however, such as “In the Bud,” which see Goodz break out of his laid back style and attack the track with some ferocity and vigor. It would be interesting to see what would happen if he applied the same style to some of the other tracks, particularly “Count Up,” the album’s first single.
Once you get past the novelty of a local rapper producing something like this, I think that most people are fine skipping the album. Trap music needs something unique to set it apart from the pack, and I don’t think Goodz gives the listener a reason to stick around.
If you are a fan of the genre, then you will probably enjoy this album. However, if you aren’t, this won’t do anything to change your mind.
Artist: Dee Goodz