By Thomas Stevens
Before becoming a so-called hip-hop journalist, I was a writer. A writer that took an interest in music, particularly hip-hop music. I wanted to know exactly how it was created and what it would take to do it myself. I wanted to know the process from the instrumental to the construction of lyrics. I proceeded to buy and borrow the equipment I needed to achieve hip-hop creation. The equipment I used at the time was nothing special, an iPod and earphones were perfect for the beginning of my journey. Time passed as well as waves of inspiration and motivation made me better and more efficient at making music.
Plenty of hours were spent learning about the distribution of music, the production of it and the legalities behind it all. Most of that stuff is boring but it is important to know the technical to release music as effectively as possible. I would release music on a free website called SoundCloud for about 7 years until I wanted to be more “Official”. Soundcloud was seen as a place where “wannabe rappers” go to become something. I did not like that stigma, and I began to take my craft much more seriously. That led me to find an actual distribution company that helps with releases across all platforms.
The second album Fell in Love with a Computer submits to a world where we rely on devices and technology to live everyday life in American society. Napps is a character created to embody feelings and apply them to inanimate technology all while being relative to an actual human. Rough long days can take you straight to sleep “catching z’s” is the soothing and moody tune of being halfway asleep and back in reality where the world holds much to process in a short amount of time. The project workflow spanned over seven years, with Napps being a student and an active consumer of hip-hop and soul. His influences can align anywhere from artists such as Isaiah Rashad and Childish Gambino to a more soulful and eclectic sound from Hiatus Kaiyote and Gorillaz. A combination like this results in an eclectic compilation of sounds.
Although love is one of the words used to describe a mellow laid-back flow, along with an unforgettable hook on “USB,” the word lust is displayed on a platter of melodic vocals and seductive wordplay on “online.” Most songs are accompanied by producers and artists he met on the Internet such as Illuid Haller, providing neo-soul Electronic and hip-hop fusion instrumentals while also collaborating with Blanketboi, instilling Bouncy and electrifying beats.
Working strictly off the internet in his home studio, Napps once again provides a nappy album.
This album was mostly created during the lockdown during the pandemic. I took a real-world event and tried to make it a piece of art that infinitely loops in history. I used the computer to escape from the reality of being locked in and so did others in 2020. I wanted to speak on how we adjust as humans in the internet age. The titles of the tracks are internet terms and touch on subjects such as being addicted to surfing the internet or social anxiety.
The album took me about 2 years to complete all the way, From the lyrics, instrumentals, cover art and obtaining features for the album. Check out the album for yourself, it is an experience that I want to share. Happy Anniversary To “Fell in love with a computer”
Written by: Preethi Mangadu