So as has become somewhat of a tradition here at NUBI, I once again have returned with another scroll detailing the latest offering of Detroit Mc, Noveliss. So I heard about this project not too long ago and was instantly intrigued by the name, Kenjustsu Under The Moon and further by the fact that all the tracks would be over beats by one of my favourite producers, the late Nujabes. In fact, speaking of Nujabes check out my article in memorial of him.
So let’s get into it, this is a project dedicated to two of Noveliss’s late friends Brandon “BT” Taylor and Kelly Schultz. As such it’s not the most braggadocious work of his. I’ve spoken before about wanting to see maybe a bit more vulnerability in Noveliss on tracks and this is a nice example of that beginning to come through. While he stays strong to his anime and comic references and consistent reminders that he is just that damn nice on the mic its tempered with stories about growing up alongside his two friends and the various mischief they got up to, mentions of their hoping their sons stay close and grief over their loss.
With only two sets of features on the whole project between his CSF homies and Mic Phelps, it’s still another strong case of Noveliss arguably not ever needing anyone to carry an EP. He continues to show steady growth as an artist even actually letting his singing voice kick it on “Rolling Stone”. The beat selection is just what I’d expect of Noveliss’ taste and contains some of my favourites of Jun Seba. This is coupled with wonderfully applicable references to famous “Samurai” anime such as Samurai Champloo, Rurouni Kenshin, and Afro Samurai. In fact, this actually highlights my favourite track on the project, “Tales of A Samurai”. A summary of the base storylines for all three anime previously mentioned it is a nice touch to the general theme behind the whole project.
Honestly, there’s not much more to say about this. It’s a great project, a solid base of meaning. The beat selection might serve as a nice introduction to Nujabes for those yet to be initiated into the fold. Noveliss bares his heart on the project more than any other previously and yet again I’m left wanting more. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion an ep over Kaytranada beats, out of sheer curiosity how he handles this newer more crossover friendly wave of hip-hop. Or maybe just Shinchiro Watanabe had the ear to get Nujabes and Fat Jon amongst others to essentially score Samurai Champloo maybe a project over the Cowboy Bebop instrumentals by Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts. That would gas me to be totally honest.
So to Noveliss if you’re reading, you did it again homie, keep it coming. To the rest of you support the music, buy the project, see Noveliss and CSF when they do live shows, buy the merch. The more we spend the more they can give back to us, and it’s as simple as that really.
RIP Brandon “BT” Taylor, Kelly Schultz and Nujabes.