REVIEW: Missing-Nin — TBH (LP)
Missing-Nin, is a Nigerian born Hip Hop artist, who could easily replace the hip with trip. Not to say that there isn’t a Hip Hop element to what Nin does, because there is. It’s just that his music has such a hypnotic effect, which makes it memorable and immersive, from virtually, the jump. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Nin has resigned himself to annually releasing a new track, on Friday of every week. Ambition seems like something of an apparition to Nin’s entire existence, and his music seems to be a reflection of his hard won, inner peace.
Due to his flurry of output, it’s difficult to winnow Nin’s catalog down to this sole review, but the bulk of it will focus on his January 1st release, Brown. “TBH” is one of the more plaintive and wide open tracks, I have encountered in some time. I’m just trying to be an artist/I’m not trying to be a target, might just be the best lyric of 2021, thus far. This sort of honesty, marinated with brevity is the type of lyrical catharsis rarely achieved in any genre, presently. Nin’s casual, yet convicted delivery of this piece it what makes it so remarkable and unforgettable.
Much of Nin’s body of work is entirely instrumental. While this can often result in a certain disconnect from the listener, that is less the case, here. Nin shows expert timing and a sense of granulated nuance, that is subtle but identifiable. His instrumental tracks show every bit as much of a tangible narrative, as those with vocals. Take “Egg Nog,” for example, it’s a continual loop that is interspersed with brief but effective departures, throughout. Similarly, “Ecuador” is a track that you’d prefer to play, forever, even being disappointed that it doesn’t.
Nin knows when to bare his heart as well. On “Tell Me,” he takes on a slightly strained, and even nominally whispered falsetto, that leaves no doubt. The heartbreak expressed on this track is palpable, and the song has passed, before the first tear is even formed. There are moments on the opposite end of the spectrum, where Nin absent mindedly screenshots misogyny. “IG Hoes” is about as direct as it gets, and honestly, the less said about this one, the better. On the flip side, Nin deserves credit for at least acknowledging the underrated delight that is “Pink Lemonade.” Unfortunately, this one is a rage filled, cliché fest, but the raw power of the track is undeniable.
Upon his introduction to them, FL Studio, felt that Missing-Nin could reach mainstream level success. While I admittedly walked into this listening experience, skeptical, I’m happy to say, I’ve been converted. The sheer diversity and uniqueness shown by Nin, is almost unlike any Hip Hop artist, we’ve ever heard. Perhaps it’s the minimalistic DIY aspect of his sound, that has yet to be saturated by big industry agenda. Or perhaps it’s that the artist, himself, is a seemingly unsolvable enigma. Whatever the case, you are strongly advised to take a chance on Missing-Nin. His music will remind you that your imagination is still subject to captivation.