The Great Migration paints a starless wasteland through which Bronze Nazareth cups his hands around a waxen flame, his deliberate steps intent on illuminating the way. In “Black Royalty” he raps, “My words are sutures to a broken future.” His hypnotic beats, looped horn sections, and gospel shouts create a stillness within the listener that allows the monotony of the down tempo program to sink into the depths. To clarify, monotony can be an extremely desirable effect. James Brown was monotonous, and with it he created modern music.
Handling both production and rhyming duties, Bronze Nazareth spins grooves cloaked in the classic Wu-Tang haze of old. Confident, soul inflected production that swaggers down the back alleys of human frustration with a hand on its belt buckle. Bronze Nazareth uses mood to attack with a subtlety undetectable on first listen. Its days later, when the evoked mood still lingers that you realize there’s something special going on. Tracks like “Good Morning” imported frustration into my own psyche that continued long after the track faded and left a feeling of hope perched beyond the horizon.
Violent themes abound, but Bronze doesn’t spit his dark narratives like a gangster rap merchandising braggart. His lines are street worn, frayed at the seams, and filled with the pangs of a man that has come home at night, taken of his boots, and lain sleepless in the dark in order to come to terms with his daily survival. Bonze’s obsessive bent towards the percussive inflection of language leads him down Freudian Glock toting freak-outs of free association. He is rhythmically experimental and flows with a variety of styles although his most effective is a consonant heavy machine gun bounce that toys with his placement of rhyme.
His mainstream industry indictment “Hear What I Say!” proclaims, “Just wanted Hot 97 to play my shit like they promised/ They never did/ But probably payola was honest.” This is the sound of an artist refusing to cater to commercial trends, and lacking an ego that demands he create them. Great Migration is honest and unguarded and reveals Bronze Nazareth’s unique ability to create his own world through his complete control over his sound, his production, and his lyrics. If your local equivalent to Hot 97 can’t hear enough importance in this music to spin it, find a new station.