Born and raised in the Houston area, NYGE, a seasoned multi-instrumentalist, also plays guitar for local favorite Brothers Grymn. The tracks on his debut solo album ‘Twelve’, produced by John Roo, span a wide range of genres including hip hop, electronic, soul, and rhythm and blues. “I have finally found my passion and sound,” states Nigel Bologna aka NYGE, “and I want to share it with you.”
NYGE is thoughtful, has a voice like honey and a breathtakingly broad musical palette. ‘Twelve’, sums up his qualities; smart synths, great pitched vocals, sagacious rapping and a finely tuned ear for infectious beats and rhythms. Even if you’re hopelessly alienated from rap and hip-hop, NYGE is extremely hard to resist if there is a musical bone in your body.
The songs are awash with pop, alternative rock and electronica influences as NYGE steps away from the usual brashness, arrogance and smack-you-in-your-face style of rapping. Leaning more towards a melodic approach, every song captures a different moment of NYGE’s feelings and his point of view on what’s going on today. The album takes you on a ride of basically what goes on in the life and mind of NYGE.
The songs featuring Ashly Nicole, “Love and Peace”, “Just Feel The Beat” and “Verity” are particularly endearing due to the play-off between the male-female vocals and the almost endless amount of catchy hooks. ‘Twelve’ has little to no filler and some serious killers like “One Day”, “I’m taking My Time” and probably the best of the bunch – “Why”. The song has a very slick, addictive slow-burning rhythm and beat, sounding somewhere between Green Day and Linkin Park.
Throughout the album NYGE stretches the boundaries of rap music as he taps into many different genres bringing on a new wave of Hip-hop. There are lots of layers of enjoyment here; synths, pianos, melodies, hooks, choruses and original singer-like deliveries, while the songs themselves are mostly inspirational and positive. The beats aren’t traditional hip hop; instead they have dynamics like classic pop tunes. Each song feels full and complete and maintains concentration without straying off the tracks, making it a beautiful package.
At the end of the day ‘Twelve’ contains some really powerful songs that deliver soul grabbing melodies and lyrical flows that will keep your media player on repeat. It is one of the most musically diverse Hip-hop albums I’ve heard in a while, and the production values are through the roof. Not bad for a debut!