Foundations of a Hooligan by NuffxSaid, A Rap Work Of Art By A Hip Hop-Rooted Artist

Foundations of a Hooligan was initially released in 2019 but as a marketing-savvy independent artist, NuffxSaid promoted the EP all the way until 2021 and for a good cause. He got C.T. Ali Fletcher on it!!! We don’t know about where you at, but the actor, motivational speaker, fitness trainer, and international bodybuilder, is famous all the way to Italy. That aside, FOAH reverberates of a strong duality between NuffxSaid’s Hip Hop influences such as Pac and Cube, noted in the second part of the project, led by the modern Rapper persona in the first half. It is probably one of the most compelling acoustic experiences you’ll be familiarized with this year.

1. CT Fletcher Intro

The intro seems to be the very personification of the cover artwork. The melancholic choir voices are the acoustic depiction of the sunkissed yellow tones of the photo. The deep voice of C.T. Fletcher holding the speech goes hand in hand with the badassness NuffxSaid embodied as a mini Al Capone at only 9 years old. The harshly shaped geometrical frames in the background are sonically transposed by the stringent drums. Anticipation constructed properly.

NuffxSaid Foundations of a Hooligan/ You’re not supposed to make it/ Statistics say that you won’t survive/ The streets are too mean/ The police are after you but…/ Never ever did they run into a MF-er as determined like me,” goes in unison the equally entertaining and frightening voice of C.T. Fletcher. Just how did NuffxSaid get the imposing actor from Batman vs Superman and the owner of Iron Addicts Gym to officially give his stamp of approval on his project, we may never know. But one thing is for sure, this is f*cking awesome.

The one minute and twenty-one seconds of pure savageness and motivational taunt set in motion the Foundations of a Hooligan with a rather mighty promise of epicness. “F*ck all them god damn excuses!/ And if you don’t believe me/ Set your punk ass down and watch me do/ This sh*t MF-er!” – we’ll take your word for it Ali!

Song Credits: C.T. Ali Fletcher – Artist, Writer; Zach Ingraham (The Birdhouse) – Sound Engineer.

2. F.O.A.H.

The second track of Foundations of a Hooligan is the one carrying the very title: F.O.A.H. The record shows that straight bars and beat dominance are NuffxSaid’s strong suit for you don’t hear much of a beat as more of an auxiliary accompanying composition. We are introduced to a rampant electric guitar, stoically-sounding drums, some very subtle ad-libs here and there, and a low-pitched supporting back-vocal on the hook, “This is how it goes when you running with some hooligans/ This is just a consequence of living like a hooligan/ Was always into something so they labeled me a hooligan/ Everything I know – Foundations of a Hooligan.”

NuffxSaid takes 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ infamous quote quite literally: “Aint’ showered in a week/ Got 40 by the seat/ Two days, no sleep/ Gold grill, bad teeth,” “Homie ain’t stopping till he chillin’ with the A-list/ Or buried in a box, six feet in a grave b*tch.” The rapper’s cadence imitates the richness of an entire Rock band. He steps on the gas from the getgo and never relaxes just as Metalheads do in their live shows. A very potent delivery and apparently, steel lungs too. Speaking of, the mesh of rap bars with rock-like music would make a dope soundtrack for Need For Speed.

The second and third verse of the record turn very dark very fast. Sort of when fantasy meets reality and it’s not that pretty: “He kept on robbing and slanging/ Mobbin’ and hanging with the goblins/ Seen him in the driveway/ They measured then they weighed him/ Luckily they grazed him/ But they clipped his little one/ What the hell has he become?/ As he’s holding his dying son.” The question now becomes whether is this the moment a hooligan becomes more than a word or is this when one realizes how far deep he’s in? Let’s listen to the rest of the songs to figure it out.

Song Credits: Josh Muder (NuffxSaid) – Artist, Songwriter; Mick Espinoza (Serious Beats) – Music Producer; Zach Ingraham (The Birdhouse) – Sound Engineer.

3. Gangsta Moves

Lo and behold, we got an earworm on our hands! “I don’t wanna be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me!” – announces the authoritarian voice. Seems NuffxSaid has a thing for speeches. Then it is followed by an elevated FX sound pushing the buildup to stratospheric levels. After an intentionally distorted drop at 0:17, resembling a retro organ in the lowest octave available, the Rap artist boasts his street cred: “I got a gang of fools that ain’t scared of doom/ And always ready to lose/ so I wish you would/ Looney honkeys in the woods/ Too thoroughbred Gs/ Repping all kind of sets/ Ready to flex for me.” Well damn!

Shout out to that bass though! It is a very singular, uninviting instrument that either makes or breaks a record. And Gangsta Moves is half gangsta for the lyrics and half due to those deeper-than-the-Mariana-trench vibrations.

NuffxSaid made it clear by now he doesn’t need breathing. Just peep that flow! “Quit Rap then came back and kept on serving/ Even better than I was back then/ Still bumping Ice Cube, WC, and Mac 10/ Put down the gin and picked up the blunt/ Took a long pull, blew the smoke, oh the funk!The sense of urgency that NuffxSaid indulges in repeatedly becomes the epicenter of all his records. The Rapper is here to stir sh*t up. And he successfully does so thus forcing the listener to remember his name and his go-getter, bigger-than-life demeanor.

Gangsta Moves fills the need for a more melodic, slowed-down lead from NuffxSaid through its bonafide earworm hook: “Make gangsta music/ Make gangsta moves/ Do gangsta things/ I got nothing to lose.

Song Credits: Josh Muder (NuffxSaid) – Artist, Songwriter; Sydney Nyamurera (BeatsCraze) – Music Producer; Zach Ingraham (The Birdhouse) – Sound Engineer.

4. B.O.A.T.S.

How interesting! An unexpected Boom Bap beat rooted in sampled snippets in the background. The dynamic in NuffxSaid’s voice undergoes a rather profound change, sounding graver than the first records albeit rapping at a slower pace. B.O.A.T.S. comes off as pretty majestic despite the lack of a traditional hook or song structure. The storyline is the crown bearer for it takes the listener on a very personal ride and a plethora of revelations: Dead center in the street/ Where only certain men go/ Most ain’t welcome/ And half can’t cut it/ That’s why the outcome attitude is always F*ck it!/ But Imma say f*ck that, I won’t be forgotten/ Dry, stiff, and rotten, stuffed in a coffin.

B.O.A.T.S. boasts a boatload of cutthroat notes. See what we did there? 😀 The guy is inspiring indeed. He strips the song of any adorning technicalities and just delves in offering his heart on a golden plate to the audience: “Still remain sleepless/ And dreams are full of nightmares/ Filled with evil creatures/ Trying buy my soul from me.” If we head back to the very title, the intro, the first songs, and compare it with B.O.A.T.S., it is more than translucid the fact that NuffxSaid considers the temptation for quick money the said evil creatures trying to buy his soul.

The two minutes and forty-one seconds make for a nice, laid-back interlude on Foundations of a Hooligan. It feels less of a threatening record and more of a relatable guy with mad skills fighting his urge to succeed versus his inner moral compass.

Song Credits: Josh Muder (NuffxSaid) – Artist, Songwriter; Patrick Brail (Statik Selektah) – Music Producer; Zach Ingraham (The Birdhouse) – Sound Engineer.

5. Out There

Seems like Foundations of a Hooligan took a ’90s turn after B.O.A.T.S. NuffxSaid did mention Ice Cube and now we note the direct influence. And might we add, we like it! Out There is a sumptuously illuminated record revering loud drums, high-pitched synths, a strong emphasis on the old-school type of flow, and assertive but spread-out lyrical dynamic. If you’re a fan of the golden age of Hip Hop, this is the go-to song for you off Foundations of a Hooligan.

It is most curious how on Out There, NuffxSaid takes on the role of an advisor rather than the protagonist, especially noted on the hook: “You don’t really wanna be out there/ You don’t see what we seen out there/ Ain’t no dreams out there/Self-destruction and beef out there/ Playing for keeps out there/ Ain’t nothing sweet out there.” NuffxSaid dropped some real knowledge too, showing an unbiased analysis of the street life. Something we’d highly advise young minds to pay attention to: “Hustlin’ ain’t easy/ And all they felt they had was dope/ ‘Cause that’s all they ever knew/ While outsiders spoke of hope/ …/ While the realistic dudes I know/ Went to jail or to the coroner.

The Rapper turned into a full-fledged Hip Hop artist on Out There and paints a potent image of a socially aware mind.

Song Credits: Josh Muder (NuffxSaid) – Artist, Songwriter; Mick Espinoza (Serious Beats) – Music Producer; Zach Ingraham (The Birdhouse) – Sound Engineer.

6. OG Triple OG

Aaaay it’s a party! This is the coolest, dopest, awesomest record off Foundations of a Hooligan. In our opinion that is. OG Triple OG sounds straight out of an early 2000s Hip Hop biopic. NuffxSaid is on fire! The grand piano exercises a profound influence on the lofty old-school vibe. Think Snoop’s Still D.R.E. The multi-layered, clean-sounding ad-libs come firmly in the foreground to induce a mood of too-cool-for-school. The Asian influence obviously noted from the get-go induces a sophisticated mood à la Scott Storch. Eesh! This is unexpectedly great on all levels! We got an unquestionable winner.

OG Triple OG gifts some phenomenal lyrics too besides the stellar music production: “If Jay can do it, I can do it/ As long as it’s dope,” “I met all my quotas/ Repped hard since I was a soldier/ And I’m never rolling over/ Now I’m glad I left the streets/ And went and got myself sober/ But a gang of homies died/ So you know I gotta ride.” Mind you, this is an excerpt from the first verse only. In a curious manner, NuffxSaid appears in his most mature form as an artist and as a man on OG Triple OG. Truly admirable.

The second verse packs some threats, as per OG fashion, but not without shouting out the likes of Biggie and Pac. And uhm… someone send this to Drake 😀 “These rappers living – nothing but a hoax/ With ghostwriters pretending that they goats.” Jokes aside, this song should be released as a single and have a music video done too!

Song Credits: Josh Muder (NuffxSaid) – Artist, Songwriter; Carlos CorDero (BeatBusta) – Music Producer; Zach Ingraham (The Birdhouse) – Sound Engineer.

7. CT Fletch Outro

This just might be a first when we get to listen to a legendary personality both initiate the audience into a musical project and also conclude it. We got so many questions!!!

C.T. Fletcher ends Foundations of a Hooligan on a philosophical note transposed to street talk: “I want you MF-ers to never forget where you came the f*ck from. What made you who you are. If it wasn’t for those god damn streets, you wouldn’t be who you are today. […] No matter how dire the situation may seem, MF-er remember your god damn dreams.

Song Credits: C.T. Ali Fletcher – Artist, Writer; Zach Ingraham (The Birdhouse) – Sound Engineer.

Don’t let the title fool you. This project by NuffxSaid is so much more than what the headline suggests. It shows a world poised between who the artist was, who he is, and what he intends to be. Foundations of a Hooligan is a deliberate assertion of all good and bad things that result from being about that life while acoustically, it is a work of art with many different music producers standing behind it. A complex, almost codified chronicling EP.

Make sure you stay tuned for NuffxSaid’s upcoming project titled Live Long and Prosper by adding his music on Amazon HERE, on Apple Music HERE, on Tidal HERE, on Deezer HERE, on YouTube Music HERE and on Spotify below:

Written by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment 

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