NEILA - Only This One Counts
"Please support my album to help pay for hospital bills and rent!" This is the sentence Neila used, in 2011, to introduce her latest album, Only This One Counts. With this cry for help, the Hawaiian rapper, a close relative to Deeskee, Acid Reign, Omid, Joe Dub and other artists from the West Coast Underground rap scene, urged her few fans to help her facing the painful situation she was in. Unemployed and homeless, she was also affected by a vocal chord cancer, and she announced that this album, released in vinyl only, would be the last with her real voice.
Self-released :: 2011 :: buy this record
Her voice, indeed, had already altered. It sounded 20 years older, as compared with her previous releases, some underground CDs made of quality adult rap, including intimate considerations and social comments, and sometimes produced by the people mentioned above. Now, her new rasping and broken timbre sounded almost painful. Moreover, she was sharing a dark mood and sad ideas on this album, like with the sepulchral "White Zombi" and its lugubrious "This is my epilogue, I'm walking death zombie white heavy footprints." By listening carefully to the lyrics, one could see that Neila's misfortunes were mostly of the sentimental kind, but they sounded no less real. And, confirming this depressing law, according to which great art is fed with pain and anxiety, she had never sounded so poignant.
The rapper already delivered moving songs in the past, for example "The Dream", available on her Vertical Trees album, as well as on Deeskee's Blacklight Sessions, both released in 2003. On Only This One Counts, however, all the tracks were at this level. Neila's grave and hoarse raps, moreover, were underlined by music in the same mood, full of heavy beats, haunted by dark and ethereal synthesizers ("Black Then"), ghostly harpsichords and choruses ("Brain Gap"), gloomy pianos and morbid organs (the splendid "Final Note"). Produced by a certain Rezult, it was also reinforced by the sinister scratches of two DJs, Skid and Handprints
Fortunately, the next step of her life would be less dramatic for Neila. A few months after her call for help, she recovered and her health improved. As soon as in 2012, she could take the mic again, and release a new album titled Marked for Breath. This one, though, was less memorable than the previous record.
Only This One Counts, then ? No, not necessarily. The rapper delivered some other remarkable albums in her career. But none has been as intense as this one.
Rate this entry
- Note: 0
- Votes: 0
- Higher: 0
- Lower: 0