Yo, I’ve longed out my bro Nephilim too long on this write up, so let’s talk about his latest release ‘The Ben Reilly Tape’…
All I want to say is LEVELS, LEVELS and more LEVELS! From concept, beat selection, visuals, artwork and through to the final product Nephilim has really raised his game on this project.
Firstly, the concept and title ‘The Ben Reilly Tape’, now if you’re into Marvel you’ll get it. For everyone else I’ll try to simplify it for you. Ben Reilly is the Scarlet Spider, a clone of Peter Parker aka the original spidey, (I could confuse you more and talk about the third clone and The Red Team, but this is a Hip Hop review) you still with me???
Cool, I’ll continue… this leads nicely on to the artwork with the hooded figure again a reference to Ben Reilly and if you cop a CD on the inside is a quote from Ben Reilly “I thought that I was real, but I realised I was a clone. How could I continue to be, to be not me, in spite of still being me?
This quote gives us a big hint to the themes of being yourself ,fitting in, not conforming, belonging and what’s real and what’s not, you are about to hear in this dope project from Nephilim. The whole concept of the album is perfectly demonstrated with the opening track ‘Gecko’, produced by Messiah Kaeto, that also came with a dope visual directed by Joe Charman that continues with the hooded figure theme. Check it here
What impressed me most about the album is the range of flows and more intricate rhyme schemes Nephilim is introducing into his music. Take the track ‘Swift AA’ he switches up flows and brings it back down in a way that we perhaps may not have heard from him before, but something he now sounds comfortable doing. This track again came with a visual check it HERE
With sick production from Messiah Kaeto, Illternal Beats, GreenFingers,and Jmin. Man’s even got a beat of Genesis Elijah’s go to producer Pastor Dutchie and not many artists in the UK can claim that with one of my favourite tracks on the album ‘Bespoke’. The hook on the joint illustrates Nephilims mindset perfectly “If I can’t change I might as well rot away// And I’m not staking plots and I won’t drop my name// If I can’t prove I’m not 1+1 like you// And I’m not stuck like glue then I must not be cutting through”
Nephilim has done exactly that. I’ve been blessed to rep his music since the beginning of his Hip Hop journey, he’s prepared to adapt, evolve and not be pigeon-holed. With ‘The Ben Reilly Tape’ you get an air of confidence from Nephilims delivery of his bars, he’s always been a great songwriter, but you finally get the feeling that he feel’s that he belongs in this Hip Hop game and for me this release makes him fully fledged.
The album finishes in a great way with the track ‘Indebted’ a message to everyone who has supported him through life and music and the only track to have a feature. Nephilim is heavily influenced by other genres of music and the track features a long time hero of his, Dave McPherson of the indie band InMe, on the hook, which i know my bro is extremely gassed about.
I don’t enjoy reviewing to be honest, especially reviewing someone’s work who I consider family. So it may come across that I’m a bit biased and that could be true but I really hope Nephilim is proud of what he has produced with ‘The Ben Reilly Tape’.
You can digitally download ‘The Ben Reilly Tape’ below for just £4 OR for a whole extra £1 you can cop yourself a CD. You remember in the opening paragraph when I said “… through to the final product Nephilim has really raised his game on this project.” Well for £5 you’re not getting those standard card covers but a proper case just for a fiver. Go get your copy now here… https://nephilimuk.bandcamp.com/