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Black Magic

Music Review: N.ave – ‘Black Magic’ EP Doles Out Stylish Hip-Hop

Philly’s N.ave, aka Bryant Gilliam, recently dropped Black Magic, an EP comprising four tracks of beefy, buttery hip-hop.

Black Magic highlights that people are not who they are. The songs show how people change and how I change to accomplish goals,” explains N.ave.

Originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey, N.ave relocated to Philly, where, like Clark Kent, he leads a double life. During the day, he is a professional businessman, whose interests include politics and learning Swahili. But when the suit comes off, he turns into N.ave, purveyor of hip-hop heat.

“Dead Roses,” featuring T. Nayah, opens with a gorgeous piano flowing into a hefty hip-hop groove. The delicate sparkle of the piano continues throughout the tune, underscoring the muscular hip-hop pulse, infusing the song with a yummy elegant texture. A similar elegance pervades the vocals, as N.ave’s reedy tones contrast with Nayah’s deliciously crystalline voice.

Featuring IDK, “Gravity” rides an old-school trap beat, throbbing with a deep bassline and blaring synth accents. N.ave’s rapping delivery is cool and tight, full of a contagious cadence that’s suavely menacing. Like “Dead Roses,” “Gravity” travels on chic surfacing colors, permeating the brawniness of the hip-hop punch with stylish grace. This mixture of grace and muscle gives the music subtle, yet distinctive flavors, setting the songs apart from the run-of-the-mill hip-hop.

“Dosumdiffrint” offers a rumbling, potent hip-hop tune, with a popping kick drum and whirling synth colors. A stuttering rhythm imbues the tune with a lurching pulsation.

The title track – “Black Magic” – merges R&B flavors with dreamy hip-hop hues. Close listening reveals the simplicity of the tune: aching bassline, crisp percussion, simmering synths, and a tinkling piano. The timbre and delivery of the vocals make the song work, allowing the harmonics to achieve a velvety, pulsating essence.

Black Magic is first-rate. The amalgamation of hip-hop muscularity and creamy elegant flavors infuses the music with a unique sonic temperament. N.ave serves up stylish, sophisticated hip-hop.

Follow N.ave on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Randall Radic

Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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