Wara From the NBHD's Kidnapped is one of the most visually generous and selectively contemporary albums I’ve heard in a very long time. Alongside the project, Wara also presents a gallery that tells the story of “Piano Lessons”, the character that this album explores. Having fully produced and written this album, Wara is able to focus his work around the powerful sounds (discussed in an interview for RESPECT mag) that speak to him so fluidly. GrandeMarshall (of Fool’s Gold), Rell, and LIGHTSKINMAC-11 (of Two-9) are the only features on this 11-track album, which is surprisingly long (50 minutes), while being radically cohesive.
Reigning in highly technical production with historically-evocative lyrics, Wara makes Kidnapped the perfect resumé of talent. His two-handed control of his project take Wara out of the generic rap conversation, and he takes advantage of his capacity for quality. He uses a variety of paces, densities, atmospheres, and expressions to develop his Piano Lessons persona.
Wara rolls these elements through some of raps most engaging eras and sounds. He draws organic melodies from the depths of the Marcy houses with the expressive chords that anchor N.E.R.D. to Tyler, the Creator. He gristles subtleties that sweep streets from Queensbridge to the Island of Staten. And while Wara can reference these eras and contributors, he also includes a variety of highlights, including acid/rock twinges into a few tracks (“Beige” being the strongest example). His dexterity extends from the most contemporarily-relevant sounds to the distant relatives of those sounds. He extends his story-telling capabilities through his carefully-defined soundscapes.
Vibrant Blues progressions weave the grim yarns of a ski-masked lifestyle, desolate in its listless repetitions. Curling sharp snares, Piano//Wara enters a jam-band atmosphere to develop “Fuck You Mean/Composure”, a split song whose varied facets push one another into stronger position, fold unexpected conflict into his character. He quickly shifts gears, energizing piano strings with a darkness that could’ve hosted DMX incantations or Busta Rhymes' amphetamine-flow. Wara’s work splitting songs and merging opaque styles serve to expose the attitude of this album: torment tells the story.
As a story told by both sound and content, Wara From the NBHD’s Kidnapped is one of the most unique contributions to music this year.
-CUTT CZAR (HERONALD REAGAN)
FORMERLY KNOWN AS : FRANKLIN WEATHERFIELD AKA DENZEL SPLASHINGTON AKA PATOIS VUITTON AKA CHUCKDEGAULLE