- “(Gotta Work This Out) Somehow”
- “Fallin” feat. Vandalyzm
The internet has made it impossible to not find new music on a daily basis. Everywhere you look you’re exposed to a song from a random artist you’ve never heard. Many times these artists are dropping music at the speed that rabbits reproduce; it’s not uncommon to have an artist dropping multiple projects in the same year. It’s a rarity to see an artist drop music and then go into hiding to work on their new stuff. The last time we heard from Nerd Ferguson musically was in 2013 with his Gunshots & Twizzlers album. The project is stellar in its own right but over the last few years he’s teased at Trust Me, I Know What I’m Doing (TMIKWID for short). He’s tweeted about this project periodically over the last three years but somehow the wait for this project seemed longer. It could be thanks to our society and how we digest music nowadays that it seemed longer but three years is a long time as well. Regardless, it’s nice to see that there are still artists that care about the quality of their music and want to take their time. Alas, here we are with his latest album and this one is straight from left field.
TMIKWID is not your average hip-hop album. This could be considered more of an experimental album as there are EDM tracks fused with hip-hop and electronic beats mixed with popular samples (Justin Timberlake and Prince are sampled on the first two songs alone). Something you should look for in an artist’s music after such a long layoff is if it’s improved lyrically and sonically. There is no question that the latter is a vast difference compared to Nerd’s previous works. The former? He’s gotten better with his lyrics and did some more harmonizing and singing on this album.
The first thing you’ll notice on TMIKWID is the production style. In a sense he’s fed into his stage name with how different he’s crafted this album; EDM, electronic, and dubstep are all sounds that you’ll hear throughout. Then you have a track like “So What?” that samples the Super Mario Bros. end of level fanfare that’s been crafted into a melody with handclaps and bass drums kicking throughout the background. Nerd and featured artist Defakto take the time to boast about themselves and drop bars upon bars on this one, proving that you can take something as simple as a three-second 8-bit sound and turn it into art. Defakto’s vocals are faint on the hook but other than this, the song is a great album transition into the last few songs.
While the first half of the album has it’s moments (“Super/Crazy”, “Mazel Tov”, “With Me Pt. 2”) it’s the second half that stands out the most. It can be hard to sit through some of the EDM and dubstep sounds on this one if you’re not a fan of that music but if you can make it through, you’ll be greeted with some stellar tracks towards the end. The Vandalyzm featured and Krewella sampled “Fallin’” is phenomenal in every aspect; the production sounds good and isn’t overbearing, Nerd’s flow is on point and Vandalyzm drops a great verse to wrap things up. The track prior, “(Gotta Work This Out) Somehow”, is a look into Nerd’s life and it’s a sad one. You can hear the pain from a situation he’s been in through his verse and his harmonies on the chorus. You can hear him addressing why there wasn’t any new music for so long on certain records and while he doesn’t come forward to say it on this one, I would suspect this is one of the reasons.
Experimenting is great for music. Genre blending is everywhere; Top 40 music is hip-hop based now and they even dabble with the EDM and dubstep tracks occasionally. There’s no such thing as one genre with how much music is influenced by each genre anymore and Nerd Ferguson does a nice job of bridging that gap on TMIKWID. To have to wait three years for this project seems like an eternity but he took his time with it and crafted something that has replay value, quality, and will still sound fresh years from now. If you’re not into that and want traditional hip-hop, listen to the final cut on here: “9pm In Henrico”. I advise you to open up your music taste buds and have a sample of this one though because you won’t regret it.
3 out of 5