nanigan nickleby “Dead letters in exile”
One day back in ’01 i headed over to the radio station in The University of Maryland to give a copy of my CD to PMD ( who eventually became Peter Rosenberg…..small world huh ) in the hopes of getting it played on the late night show. While there i struck up a convo with this scruffy white kid who knew a lot about hip hop and kept on telling me about this group called Atmosphere. He bought a CD ( which he still has ) and told me he was gonna play a song off it on the radio. It turns out he was interning with Rosenberg and had a couple of nights on the show to himself. Well………….he played the song and invited me back to the show to freestyle ( he still has the tape ) We got very cool and started hanging out a lot, running thru the university, chilling with his crazy college roommates, getting blasted and recording mad songs at G.C.’s lab ( he still has the tapes ) Fam eventually moved south but we stayed in touch and hung out when ever we could ( man i got the memory of blacking out after bar hopping to prove it ) and all that led to this……………the creation of his first ever album. Pretty neat huh.
I’ve worked with a lot of people and i say this is one of those albums that was the most interesting in retrospect. You know how artist always say their first albums “took my entire life up until that point to make” well this was a case of me actually watching parts of the life that ended up on the album take place. nanigan has always been a pull no punches dude ( actually he’s more the throw punches than pull em type haha ) but he also has a good heart and really cares for people even at the expense of himself. He is thoughtful enough to sit for days just to write a few bars but he can also be a cocky bastard that flies off the handle and all that comes splashed across this album in magnificent technicolor for all you crumbs. I watched some of these songs evolve from phone conversations, to song concepts to the actual songs, down the line everything stayed consistent. “2 story condo” went from Bell Atlantic hosted therapy sessions venting about a certain female ( who i met ) to one of my favorite moments on the album. “Mic brawl round two” was born from a studio session many moons ago for a project i was working on and grew into a sequel with the same exact cast of characters. Everything on this album is rooted in reality. I actually met the dude that told nanigan to “keep it Spicoli” and went through one of the nights that inspired “Land of the lotus eaters” and “Put away those fiery biscuits” ( i refer you to the blackout i mentioned earlier ) Countless stories he told me about adolescent hi jinks in Frederick growing up with Ciddida ( who is on the album ) morphed into “Ghosts and goblins” etc. If the great Brad Jordan hadn’t already appropriated the title “The diary” this album could have been a fitting home for it. The album is also extra dope for technical proficiency with rhyming. He is a supreme syllable counter. His patterns of flowing is surgical to say the very least. It was fly to hear this album come together in the aspect of looking to see how he was gonna tackle songs flow wise. It’s been wild to see him evolve stylistically from “the attic sessions” ( he still has the tapes ) to now and he is still growing cause even from demo stage to final stage he would take things further.
I kept the music fly but somewhat understated to let his words soak in. Some of it gets heavy though to reflect the intensity of emotions he puts into the rhymes. I told him i’ve been producing this album since heads been riding around in his Honda that had that damn rawkus sticker on it bumping God loves ugly. Some of it reflects nights navigating around vomiting college kids expelling excess liquor in florescent light kissed streets along Knox road, others reflect the clear field drenched country side roads that blanket myrtle beach. I wanted to evoke feelings of riding shotgun at 4 in the morning on a dutch master and munchies run and also laying in bed staring at ceiling fans like Andre 3000 in “elevators”.
Over the years i have made a lot of music with my crew and nanigan still has those tapes. Now, he has his own tape……………and that is very fucking cool. Salute fam.