Following a four-track collaborative EP with producer and singer-songwriter Nelson Bandela, rapper Nappy Nina made a proper return last week with her new album The Tree Act. The thirteen-track record is the biggest undertaking yet from the Oakland, California transplant, who moved to Brooklyn several years back to jump start her career in rap.
Nappy Nina’s newest effort culls outside production and vocal talents from a wide range of collaborators she’s worked with in the past. Beatmakers Abhs, Stas Thee Boss, and Norvis Junior (aka Nelson Bandela) have all been supplying the skilled MC with fodder for inspiration since her debut effort Naptime dropped in 2015. Pink Siifu, Melanie Charles, Benjamin Earl Turner and J Hoard also make guest appearances on the exceptional new LP. The high-powered chemistry between Nina and co. make the cast of The Tree Act appear less as players and more like family members.
The Tree Act opens with Nappy Nina brashly unafraid to make herself vulnerable and expose her realest insecurities on “Might Not Make It.” She takes a particularly uncomfortable thought (like her potential failure to succeed as an artist) and flips the negative energy into something constructive enough to resemble a song. And it bumps! Elsewhere on the album Nina deconstructs what it is to be black and queer in Brooklyn while navigating the precarious, quickly changing landscape of marijuana that unjustly persecutes people of color.
Stream Nappy Nina’s The Tree Act below.