Download New Album: Young Nudy & Pi’erre Bourne – Sli’merre
Young Nudy and Pi’erre Bourne comes through with a brand new smashing hot and dope studio album, packed with 12 amazing and dope tracks which is title “Sli’merre“. Young Nudy has been lying in wait for Atlanta’s crown since 2016’s Slimeball.
On the heels of April’s Faded in the Booth, as well as 2018’s Slimeball 3, Nudy vies for the crown with an all Pi’erre Bourne-produced album. Bourne, himself a wunderkind in bloom, previously produced much of Nudy’s Slimeball 1 and 2, 2017’s Nudy Land, and Playboi Carti’s biggest hit to date, “Magnolia.” Bourne’s rap sheet is as long as Young Nudy is hungry to make a name for himself in and outside of Atlanta.
With that in mind, Nudy and Bourne coming together for a full project just makes sense. Over 12 tracks of baby wails and thick, confounding beats, Nudy and Bourne gift us the boisterous Sli’merre: a record that is equal parts manic production work and dexterous lyrical performance.
Take “Sunflower Seeds,” with its soft and lilting instrumental. Nudy pirouettes through the beat like a dancer in the “Runaway” music video, playing nimble partner to Bourne’s production, which frequently seizes the reins and leads the album’s direction. In a perfect world, these light synths and bouncing melodies would be the soundtrack to whatever nursery rhymes my future children learn.
Unlike other notable artist-producer collaboration albums (Rico Nasty and Kenny Beats’ Anger Management), the focus here is mostly on the fleet of whizzing hisses and pops Bourne wheels out. Nudy, much like his compatriot Carti, is more clever than he is lyrical, often resulting in a product that can, on occasion, be grating.
For instance, when Bourne is at his least ambitious (“Hot Wings”), Nudy prioritizes flow and puts his pen on the back burner, leaving listeners with these lackluster bars: “Yeah, bitch, I’m too player / Yeah for real I give ‘em hell / Nah where the L? / I just count the Ms.” Yeah.
Nudy and Bourne do get one thing absolutely correct on Sli’merre: they understand balance, especially in considering what outside voices to incorporate. Rising star Megan Thee Stallion shows up to tear “Shotta” up with a “muah” and a blistering verse, without compromising her Houston Hottie raps and high energy virtuosity.
There’s also a DaBaby verse that capitalizes on the North Carolina native’s signature, no wasted time, ferocity; a Lil Uzi Vert spot that induces the dainty Uzi shoulder roll; a 21 Savage feature that includes a perfect pronunciation of “mister” that essentially confirms he’s from the UK.
Nudy and Bourne turn in an effort exemplifying their collective proficiencies: Nudy’s East Atlanta bred, insouciant versatility and Bourne’s Big-Brained Sheen level of foresight on sound.
In his 1-Listen album review of 21 Savage’s i am > i was, DJBooth Senior Writer Yoh remarked, “Nudy will be a star.” If Sli’merre doesn’t do it for Young Nudy, then all the old heads are right: hip-hop is dead. Sli’merre, the first co-billed project from finesse rapper Young Nudy and producer extraordinaire Pi’erre Bourne, is a bit like the iconic photo of Dwyane Wade’s no-look celebration of his alley-oop to LeBron James during the crest of the Miami Heat basketball dynasty. Wade, arms outstretched and expectant, already awaiting praise for a thrilling tag-team move only half complete, is like Bourne, whose beats are usually so dynamic and perfectly executed all that’s left is to not fuck up the finish. The tape, like the photo, is a signature moment encapsulating years of collaboration. It is teammates getting the best out of each other after developing a sixth sense for one another.
Atlanta rapper Young Nudy is perhaps best known as the target of the sting operation that led to his cousin 21 Savage being apprehended by ICE during the Super Bowl. He is a two-dimensional character best when placed in the middle of the action, which allows him to react instead of think and run through a myriad of rap deliveries on instinct. Pi’erre Bourne is one of the more distinguished producers behind the SoundCloud vanguard—Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Trippie Redd, Lil Yachty—but moments meant to be his two biggest breaks never quite panned out: a placement on a Drake album that has yet to materialize and a ghost credit on the worst Kanye West album to date.
Since “Magnolia,” Pi’erre has become one of the most interesting contemporary rap producers with his own signature sound, but he has yet to attain the sort of outsized influence of a Metro Boomin or Tay Keith in his run. He hasn’t worked closer with anyone during that span than he has with Nudy, producing huge chunks of the first two SlimeBall tapes and 2017’s Nudy Land. After only producing one song on Slimeball 3, the duo return as co-headliners on Sli’merre, their blockbuster, a collaboration near its apex.
After a sound engineering gig at Epic fell through for Pi’erre, Nudy was the first rapper to gravitate toward his beats, and they’ve developed a strong chemistry since. They were nearly in sync on Nudy Land, with Pi’erre turning Nudy’s villainous nightlife escapades into carnival attractions, but here they really find balance. On “Mister,” Nudy raps, “All my life, I’ve been a hustler/Dope boy, cap peeler, street young nigga,” and most of his raps are just him plainly living out those roles. There is plenty of robbing, even more shooting, and enough firearms to make a gun nut blush. It’s Nudy’s job to simply rob and shoot his way through Pi’erre’s wacky noise parade.
Like Playboi Carti, Nudy is a premium space filler. Neither will ever be considered great rappers but both have the capacity to perfectly integrate themselves. Where Carti is animated, Nudy is subdued, often carried leisurely forth by the current of Bourne’s productions. He is not as good at making his presence felt, but that comes with its own rewards: on songs like “Sunflower Seeds” and “Dispatch,” his voice retreats back into the belly of the beat and becomes a complementary instrument furthering Bourne’s palette.
Nudy, to his credit, has an ear for the weirdest, most pronounced Pi’erre Bourne beats. While the production on Die Lit is all minor variations of a similar form, Sli’merre is constantly mutating into something new and weird. And these are easily Bourne’s strangest and most thrilling designs. They can feel equal parts absurd and scintillating, like plugging a jailbroken Super Nintendo into a particle accelerator or rigging an augmented reality headset to convert the pixels of cartoon gifs into sounds.
Nudy is mostly just the guest at an amusement park of Bourne’s creation. Understanding where to fit in is a skill in itself, and he slips in and out of the openings with varying degrees of intensity, always matching the requisite force. His whiny Auto-Tune melodies deflate into the humming synth work on “Gas Station.” As slashing strings, piano stabs, and tremorous bass reconstitute around him on “Extendo,” he’s just shimmying through it. He seems to know he only has to do but so much. Nudy on his own is relatively ordinary and working in a limited space, but shuffling through Pi’erre Bourne beats transports him to a world unknown. This is the kind of song(s) you wouldn’t want to miss on your playlist.
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