Photography by Gracie Gulick
Two years ago I wrote a profile on NliteN, and with an EP and a hand full of singles he showed a lot of promise. Well, August 23rd his debut album, “!NFiNiT”, drops. Taking a listen, right off the bat you can hear the sound NliteN’s had all along, but tighter.
Clocking in a eight tracks, the album is a cohesive work that will later define NliteN’s style to new listeners. !NFiNiT still has that tight flow that switches tempos on a dime and the ethereal Fly-Loish-Sci-Fi like production that had NliteN standing out as a rapper who’s time is well spent focused on production and lyrical finesse over aesthetics and straight hype- and it should be noted that NliteN did the production almost exclusively himself.
“If time is money why you wasted/ saw a message in a bottle drank it down now I’m wasted/ this flow is copyin’ and pastin’/ that’s a problem that I’m facin: threw a party in a basement/ coppers in the place/ anyone seen Jayson? …Grace and?… Anybody else I came with,” opening lyrics off the fifth track, “Fly”
Lyrically NliteN is clever and with how easily he switches his flow up, listeners won’t lose focus on his voice. NliteN flirts with the beats he raps over, his voice doesn’t detract but only adds. At the same time, you won’t necessarily find any crazy bass heavy party bangers. That’s not to say the album does not have energy, NliteN’s energy is in his delivery, you just won’t find a track that’s focused on messy fun; but that’s obviously not what NliteN is about. Without any features and considering the brevity of the album, !NFiNiT is a strong debut that showcases what NliteN cares about, his words and voice, his ability to put himself out there as a rapper you can listen to, enjoy, and take something from.
You wouldn’t do yourself or the album justice hopping around between songs, listen to the album as it is supposed to run and you’ll see a well thought out musical experience. Listen to it with some context from the visual story he provides along with the piece, and there’ll be a solid story that sets the album apart from any mixtape or NliteN release thus far.
Between the production and the time you can spend just listening to NliteN’s lyrics, I found myself driving to the album, writing to it, chilling to it. Importantly, I found myself really listening to it, something I haven’t done with an album in awhile.
Find !NFiNiT here