“There was two scientists and these scientists could travel through time. And, basically, they would go to different eras – golden eras, where music was rich. They would take the best parts – basically, they were salvaging the best of the best…”
Name Science is a concept album from L.A. rhyme stylists, Sach and Inoe Oner. It’s experimental in the sense that it’s not structured like your typical Hip Hop project – or even conceptual Hip Hop project. They started with the idea that two characters traveled space and time, took the best of what they heard and have now introduced themselves to the world as Name Science. It’s a fusion of styles ranging from Reggae, ambient, dub, and organic Hip Hop. We need more artists pushing the envelope of what Hip Hop is and can be. There’s a format for making an album that too many people are marrying themselves to. Art must be about creativity, about pushing yourself, and striving for more. These dudes got that memo.
1. We Chose To Travel
I hear layers. This is exactly what I wanted to hear as an opening track to this project – this is who we are and this is what you can expect, sit down and listen. Both MC’s are in top form on this one. But it’s the music, the layers… It’s choppy and studders throughout, but woven in are patches of bass lines and dissonant chords. Abstract, New Age and Classic B-Boy shit.
2. God Phoenx
This has Nonce written all over it. That lo-fi L.A. Hip Hop that moves me most. I’m buying a copy for my little brother on the strength of this alone. If you ask me for a mixtape in the next 6 months or so, I can guarantee that this track will make it on there somehow. Personal favorite.
Haha. At first I thought they were saying, “quien es (who is it)?” They’re saying, “N.S. (Name Science)” though. I guess either would work. This is where we really get into some space-age-y shit. I’m reminded of some Bigg Jus minimalist-let-the-words-speak. It’s ominous as much as it is in your face.
4. The Manuel
Again, more stripped down lo-fi music to accompany the lyrics. It’s as old sounding as it is new. It’s gritty and raw but the raps are some of the freshest on the project. An old school feel in the rhymes, for sure.
This one I could have left alone. It’s a bit too chaotic for me. It’s only 56 seconds long but it’s just too much. Like when my kids are painting. They’ll have a nice little picture on the page but they’ll keep adding and adding until it’s just too convoluted. That’s this.
6. Stolen Culture
We get back on track with “Stolen Culture.” The beat and bass rhythm are so nice you can’t wait for them to get loose. But they never do. It’s the music they should have used for the lyrics in “Brink.” A dope track nonetheless.
7. Better Off
I’m such a sucker for reggae infused Hip Hop. The structure of the music in this one is built specifically for the style of rhymes. I love this track. You’re “Better Off” playing this a few times in a row. I’d like to see more of this on upcoming projects. It’s all Inoe, though. I think they each took a stab at a solo joint. Sach’s follows…
Back to that Nonce-y style of production. Slow and low that is the tempo. Sach builds on the energy of the track when he gets to the chorus – well, not really a chorus. Rather, a more animated segment within the overall lyrics. In that way, he attempts to experiment with the common structure of Hip Hop tracks (verse, chorus, verse, chorus).
9. Do the Work
Digital, spaced-out, futuristic (year 2036) production is what you get with “Do the Work.” It reminds me of something El-P would have crafted. Raw and straight forward. I can dig it.
10. They Came From the Light
Here’s another layered track. It builds and continues with the futuristic theme. I think you get the best sense of what these two MC’s are capable of here, more than with any other track on the project. The conceptual characters that make up Name Science are stars here. This is like the theme song to the project, if you ask me. Introducing Name Science.
This might have been better served as the opener to the album. It tells us who and what Name Science are. I would love to hear the two MC’s going in on the last 30 seconds of the track. That beat is dope!
12. 62 Miles
This is some John Cage shit. Constructed off blips, bleeps and bass. Very Commodore-64-meets-Matrix-fight-scenes. I don’t know how good your headphones are but even in a decent pair this one is guaranteed to sound nice. The bass is in the driver seat here. Great way to end a project like this. Hard.
Favorite Tracks – 1, 2, 6, 7, and 10.
Highly recommended for fans of The Nonce, Def Jux, Project Blowed, and experimental projects like Jungle Brothers’ “J Bees Wit the Remedy.”