Ok I’ve heard it before from many people, including myself. “Rap isn’t my kind of music.” And while I admit I am not a rabid rap fan, especially of today’s breed, I really enjoyed this album. N0va knows how to rhyme, he knows how to be hilarious and he knows how to be serious. The “Whip Sessions” is great because it is a good antithesis to today’s style of rap.
Having played guitar since the age of 12, Shawn Nova took years of integrating different styles of music to find his own sound. From Montreal, Shawn moved to Richmond Hill in 2005 and found solace in the times he spent with his local musician friends. Since then, Shawn Nova’s style has evolved from classic rock, to metal, to alternative rock and is constantly changing with every new day.
N0va has some great lyrics and has a nice raw feel yet he does not have a thug type of tone. The raps are introspective, intelligent, and also show the many sides of N0va thoughts. The beats seem to mesh with the rhymes so well, and though I say this album is “classic” it’s not classic in the sense that everyone can sit back and reminisce, it’s classic in that it sounds timeless. It’s a head-nodder, and listening to the album in some instances felt a lot like listening to Mobb Deep’s Infamous for the first couple of times.
N0va is very aware of what hip hop is about and is also very diverse while he expresses himself. Topics, styles and musically, the album is rich, with a variety of producers lending a hand across the 15 + 3 bonus tracks. N0va is also able to stimulate all the emotions on this one album, while he comes off very dedicated and creative. Considering this is his debut mixtape/album, it’s no mean feat indeed.
Though I pretty much enjoyed the whole album, the songs that really stood out for me were: “Prankster”, “0pium Den (Elevated)”, “Gl0betr0tter”, “EleMental”, “0ne of a Kind”, “Bank 0n the Beat (Kill em S0ftly)” and “Rat Race”. Every single track has its own individuality about it that enables you to remember it for its own brilliance- whether for the production or rapping style.
From the compelling flows, great beats and creative lyrics, there is no way that N0va can not satisfy any Hip-hop fan’s needs. From when the journey kicks off at “(Intro) Unsanitary V0cabulary”, all the way through to the final track, you can bet that there will not be one moment that you’ll want to reach for the skip button, it just won’t be happening.
Now, peak this if you appreciate underground or early-mid90’s hip-hop because “Whip Sessions” will become one of your favorites, without a doubt. Everyone I have played it for will tell you the same!