From Boston, Massachusetts, a new name you’ll instantaneously like, is sharing in exclusivity for Blue Rhymez Entertainment: “Growing up, I’ve always been a people pleaser. After losing my father to cancer, I spent most of my time in unhealthy relationships that distracted me from focusing on my full potential. During these times, I was playing with what felt like a huge game of tug o’ war physically, mentally, and spiritually. I then decided to express my personal frustration regarding the experiences I’ve had with others in this song. Whether I’m loved or hated, I’m still going to pursue my goals and dreams. I am the only one accountable for where I am today.” The name behind the statement is Nicki Jem$.
In what we’ve been introduced to as Pretty Trap by Bishat, today’s record fits the bill and we’re glad to see a rising number of luxurious, soft Rap records. In essence, Pretty Trap is usually defined by a relaxed female voice rap-singing the lyrics with emphasis on the catchy elements of it constituting a highly commercial end-product cousin to Rap, Trap and R&B compositions.
With that being said, Love or Hate by Nicki Jem$ marches directly into sonic excellency featuring a heavily appealing structure, flow, and repeating elements. You wouldn’t think in a thousand years that this woman is a new name in the music business.
Love and Hate me/ They gon’ love or hate me (yeah)/ I’m on a rampage/ Never do this basic, nah (Neva, no)/ F*ck what they think/ I ain’t with it/ Imma do it different/ Still get wicked, wicked/ No, I ain’t religious, hypnotizes the listener Nicki Jem$. Now THIS, this is mainstream quality. Blazing fire on a gold vinyl – just about the perfect explanation of the impression the new artist leaves with Love or Hate‘s hook.
I’m a spiritual individual/ Go on talk that sh*t/ But I ain’t hearing you/ Watch me tear it loose/ Keep your ears in tuned/ Yes, it’s clearly true/ All my fears removed/ I’m just facing ’em/ Got a lotta enemies n’/ Imma pray for em, melodically raps the first verse the artist. With uncharacteristic-for-an-indie-artist seamless production, the vocals of Nicki Jem$ implant themselves in the bedding of the instrumentation of the song working along with the various layers to render an outstanding Pretty Trap studio performance.
A subsequent flash of genius songwriting comes in the form of the pre-hook: Shame on them (them)/ Yeah/ Shame on them (them)/ Yeah/ Pray for them (them)/ Yeah/ Pray 4 them (yeah)/ Wait on them (Nah)/ Wait on them (Nah)/ I ain’t waiting (yeah)/ Imma keep on getting (mmm). Woosh! What do you need Hip Hop lists for when indie artists like Nicki Jem$ are cooking hits without flinching? In the name of all hardworking artists, do share the song and the article. Please and thank you. Now finish reading the review.
Do this when I’m sleeping (Yeah)/ Do this at my job (Yeah)/ Do this when I’m cruising ’cause/ All we have is NOW/ Let me talk my sh*t/ Yeah I do this with a smile/ Eating I stay hungry/ They could never bite my style (Ah), connects Nicki Jem$ the first half of the song with the second half thus carrying the hit quality of past masterpieces from the early 2010s when artists used to put in effort into their creations without resorting to oversimplifications for the sake of TikTok (we love the platfrom but dislike what it did to songwriters.)
Imma run it up/ Give a f*ck/ What you thinking/ Imma live it up (baby)/ When they actin’ outta pocket/ Tell em “Au revoir”/ I’m a big stepper, big tipper/ Fly queen yeah cold winter/ All my besties bad as ever, ambitiously follows up the grandiose setup she’s laid out in the first verse, Nicki Jem$. Perfectly fitting your bars to match the melodic flow is not an easy of a job as traditional Hip Hop heads might think. As a matter of fact, old-school names have trouble writing catchy, modern hits thus the passage onto the “vintage” section of the music industry. Nicki Jem$, however, is stepping with the rightest foot of all into this ever-changing business and we’re here for it.
Another favorite segment of ours before reaching the end of the recor is this one here: Call me Poseidon/ Dip and I dive in/ Imma keep finding my way/ Bouncing back/ Yeah I’m pushing my weight/ Yeah I’m blessed yeah, I’m straight. The Poseidon reference using theoretical water as both the tears one cried throughout the hardships and the struggle one must endure to build character is poetic and admirable.
Love or Hate gratifies the taste of the modern listener while concomitantly beckoning in the typical Millennial who was all about the 2010s music as a teenager. The heap of songwriting similarities betweent the Pretty Trap masterpiece and radio earworms that used to dominate charts a decade ago make for a comforting, welcoming, and refreshing common ground for older listeners to join in the party. Nicki Jem$, you’re quite the magnetic artist. Cheers to your blossoming career!
Song Credits: Nicolette Jen Bergeron (Nicki Jem$) – Artist, Songwriter; Michael Stewart (A2 On The Beat)- Music Producer; Cory Wires (Cory Wires) – Sound Engineer.
Written by Mariana Berdianu
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