NNAMDÏ - Bootie Noir
Sep 17, 2019 (updated Sep 19, 2019)
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya is a Chicago-based rapper and multi-instrumentalist and a few years ago, Ogbonnaya dropped a masterpiece of weird, experimental rap to almost no acclaim (which might be because it's a sooper dooper secret). Ogbonnaya often sounds like R. Stevie Moore as he illustrates the mind of a lonely, internet era kid (MUMBLE literally sounds like a hip hop song written by R. Stevie Moore). And while he's certainly willing to explore depression and loneliness, he is most certainly not willing to take himself seriously and he proves this on tracks like "YOU GOT STUPID ON YOUR FACE" and "SKANKATRON."

In fact, Ogbonnaya almost seems like he's afraid to explore any of his ideas seriously. He seems to hide genuine emotion behind layers of childish jokes and disgusting humor. In fact, there seems to be only one completely genuine song on this album and that's the beautiful "WIFE YOU" and even in this song there are weird lyrics like "your better than cheddar cheese" and "I wanna make a baby in you" and it's not clear whether these lyrics are supposed to be a genuine expression of love from a weirdo or if they're just more of Ogbonnaya's bizarre sense of humor.

But while Ogbonnaya seems to be hiding his emotions from us through layers of oddball humor, they inevitably shine through on songs which seem to have been intended as a joke. DUMPSTER DIVE and 4CHAN REDDIT STUMBLEUPON FACEBOOK are seriously vulnerable songs even if they contain lyrics like: "I'm in the butthole of the internet, don't ever go if you ain't been yet." Ogbonnaya is lamenting the tragic life of an isolated, antisocial kid even if he's trying to make a meme out of it.

But BOOTIE NOIR isn't just full of great lyrical ideas, it's also instrumentally gorgeous. The album is full of frantic and maniacal instrumentation that seems to perfectly capture the bizarre ethos of the record. The songs seem to be individual and momentary bursts of nervous energy. It has the explosive energy of a project created entirely by someone who hardly leaves their basement. It feels as though Ogbonnaya is releasing energy that's been long pent up in these tracks.

Earlier, I said that "WIFE YOU" was the only track that's fully genuine on the album. This is actually not true. The closer "5EVER" is another completely genuine track. It's a spacious and textured love song, with a delicate acoustic guitar progression and some hazy electric chords on top. The way Ogbonnaya sings on this track makes it hard for me to doubt his sincerity, I almost want to say with certainty that this song was born out of real, genuine love for someone. It feels that passionate. I think it's telling that Ogbonnaya chose to close the album with this song, his most heartfelt by far. I think it's a message to lonely kids everywhere. Ogbonnaya is clearly someone who understands what it is to be poor, unemployed and living in your parents basement. He clearly understands what it feels like to become absorbed in the internet because you can't make any friends. He knows what it's like to feel isolated and alone. But somewhere along the way, Ogbonnaya got out. He found a way to connect with the outside world and he even found love. I think Ogbonnaya closed BOOTIE NOIR with this track because he wanted to share a little of that hope with the people who might have connected with this album, and I think that makes this track (and the album as a whole) incredibly beautiful.


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