NMS – Imperial Letters of Protection – [Ninja Tune/BigDada.com]
NMS stands for Nephilim Modulation System and is comprised of Bigg Jus (formerly of Company Flow) and Orko Elohiem. This release, their second effort, was released 10/18/05 by Big Dada, an offshoot of Ninja Tune.
I was very excited when I picked this CD up from my mail slot saw the UFOs blasting peasants on the cover, the alien on the CD (judging from the height and nose, I believe it to be a Type B Grey), and the reference to Nephilim. Nephilim are a race mentioned in ancient texts thought to be either the offspring of fallen angels and human females (based on a loose reading of the Bible) or extraterrestrials (by wishful-thinking UFO buffs). Goliath and Gilgamesh were both Nephilim.
Then my heart sank as I opened the CD insert and realized that this is a Political CD with a capital P.
These guys believe that the White House was controlling the planes on 9/11, one of the most idiotic and dishonorable statements I’ve ever read. The rest of the writings on the insert read like a LiveJournal entry written by a college sophomore shortly after buying a book of Tom Tomorrow cartoons at Borders and reading it over a caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks.
The back story on these guys is that they moved from NYC to Georgia after 9/11 where they issue their abstract hip hop with the hope of raising the consciousness of the masses.
Listening to the CD it is clear that the musicality is secondary to the message that they want to get across, and the music suffers for it. The beats are angry and loud with tinges of metal or jazz. Samples from the news and other spoken sources are dropped in giving some songs a Negativland sort of effect. The rhymes are powerful but too far down in the mix for how fast they are rapping. The production is a little rough in parts, and it’s generally hard to make out more than half of what is being said with the exception of the occasional expletive.
The most interesting beats come toward the end of the CD on Seraphim Revolver (10) and Hold The Atmosphere (11).
What NMS spends 50 minutes trying to convey with their apocryphal, political rhymes, Stevie Wonder manages to say perfectly in just ten words: Sleepers keep on sleeping/’cause it won’t be too long.
Language: 2-5, 8-10, 13
Instrumentals: 7 (with vocal sample), 12 (careful: it tracks immediately into the MF word on 13)
Edit 2/3/06: Corrected the band name and then checked myself.