Line Out Music & the City at Night

Monday, January 6, 2014

Unconquered Son: Bolo Nef's Sol Invictus

Posted by on Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM

"I know that how I'm livin' ain't right...but thangs ain't goin my way."

By now, if you've been paying attention (you haven't), you might have a gasp on the UDF aesthetic: dark, druggy, dismal—with a heavy pour of mysticism. All of which are at a fever pitch on Bolo Nef's solo debut Sol Invictus, entirely produced by Khrist Koopa. Don't sleep on some of the most promising underground rap in the NW.

Existing proudly within the #Based realm carved out by Lil B, but with zero humor (these guys are #serious), the Unity-Diversity-Freedom cult rap about things scary and illegal, craft insider slang and reference mythology—yet what I find most striking about the lyrics is the pain, frequently dressed up as "demons," that they constantly try to numb themselves to. Step into their Carter. Ground floor: homelessness, loss, desperation. Penthouse: dope, sex, and Godhood. This is Hell On Earth-era Mobb Deep nodding to "Something In The Way." (Bolo actually told me he hails from Aberdeen, WA; this could be true or more myth-making, very UDF.) Central to the UDF sound, naturally, is Khrist Koopa, whose cavernous, tightly programmed trap-dust evokes classical and Eastern sounds—this is a paranoiac grandeur that is all his own.

Sol Invictus is on the heels of Caz Greez' Misfit from last month; their dope is potent, flooding the streets, and naturally it's bound to make some people sick, most likely adherents of the vague posi-rap wave. Yet Bolo has said a few times that he himself cut his teeth on the local rap that kicked all that off, namely the Blue Scholars. (Judging from Twitter exchanges, I wouldn't even be surprised if Bolo and Sabzi collaborated at some point.) Look out for more from this self-styled cult in 2014.


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