Essentials: “City Phonk” – Nada5150

Drawing samples from Japanese City Pop and melding them with Southern phonk rap (hence the title), Nada5150’s “City Phonk” is a fiery culture clash that isn’t short of charisma and it’s the biggest and most incisive statement of his young career thus far. Inspired by an upcoming trip to Tokyo, a gift to himself for 10-years of sobriety, the LA-based MC flows furiously over the eerie instrumental. It’s a track that blazes by in barely more than a minute and leaves the listener wanting more.

Despite it being only his first self-produced song, he naturally takes to his own beats like a duck to water. The production echoes his southern rap leanings but the incorporation of the city-pop sample gives it a unique spin that could only have been a result of Nada’s own personality.

This personal aspect is mirrored darkly in the lyrics. “City Phonk” is an ode to absent friends, with the last few seconds specifically a tribute to those close to the rapper who he has lost in the last year. It is fitting to see them continue to be a part of the rise after they are gone with Nada honouring them. This single is just one of the stops on the road to the 3rd instalment of his celebrated ScrewTape series of mixtapes. With more and more tracks planned for the coming weeks, it’s a perfect time to get on the train. The final words of the track stating “this is a forever thing”  couldn’t be more apt with “City Phonk” the latest stop on what is sure to be a meteoric rise.

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