ALBUM REVIEW: Fame Nickles - Battlescars Mixtape (2009)
Zimbabwe's finest in Toronto is back. This mixtape hit me by surprise since i have been bugging Fame Nickles for a solid drop for about 3 years now. Finally the man decided to compile some of his best work and give his fans something to keep in the library. As he says in the intro 'Fame Nickles reporting for duty' and trust, it's no lie. Before i even review the mixtape in detail, lets face facts Fame is damn generous to give a mixtape of this quality for free coz i would have sold it had it been mine!
Yeah That's Me opens up this piece and its a proclamation of Fame's sense of self. Opening statement: "My heart pump Hip Hop..." you get a feel of how Fame takes his music very seriously. The beat is sick (sick sick sick!) and kudos to Rymez for that massive production. For the opening track i must say it was well thought out, the kind of song that makes you want to listen to more songs from the man. Get It has a video on Youtube and it actually sounds much better than i thought. Again, i have to say the production was just top notch, this time by SubZ of 25 To Lyf (Mutare massive). Check out the video though, some nice honeys in there! Ok, im no perve but some things are hard not to notice. I got the vibe that Fame was on a warpath on this mixtape, songs like Bushlands In The Place, The Accused, War Shit and Checkmate are hardcore boom bap type beats with hard hitting lyrics. One of my favourite songs on this mixtape is Damn Shame. It's one of those songs that gets you nodding your head, a true head banger. My favourite line: "First of all, get yourself a Nickles CD, they can take away your body but your mind can be free, Next learn how not to follow what society feels, Having an opinion means you decide if its real." Classic stuff!
Lyrically Fame is versatile and clever. The whole mixtape is riddled with intelligence which makes him an MC with substance. This is where i find Fame to have an edge over many other MCs. Besides that, his beats are different, some what a fusion of old school and new school. Never Give In is one of the stand out tracks where he talks about politics, reality and doing this for a cause. You can almost tell how much hunger he has through song. Did i mention this MC is very opinionated? Having mentioned that, its quite hard not to agree with a lot of what he says. Fame's F****d Up is on a different level. The beat is quite toned down yet his message makes you think twice about stepping up to him if you ever will (haters?). I got an exclusive of Mind Food and for sure Fame knows it's another stand out track as i told him. All said and done Hate on Hater is THE track on this mixtape. I also got an exclusive listen to this track prior to the mixtape drop and i have been bopping to it for a while. Like the title suggests, Fame does not care whether you hate or whatever. That's my jam, period.
This is a feel good mixtape with a lot of realism contained. It has its grimey side but still maintains that enjoyable feeling. If you like hip hop chances are you will enjoy this a whole lot. It's 26 tracks deep and you can hardly go wrong. I am not sure about the number of tracks though because it's hard to keep people attentive throughout the whole thing. Having said that, i still managed to listen to the very end! This is Zimbabwean Hip Hop (ok so its pretty much international but Fame muzukuru!) on a totally different level and its of the highest standard. Very highly recommended (did i mention it's free?!)
Download the Battlescars Mixtape here: http://www.mediafire.com/?gzzddyzmt0j
Cover Art - 5/10
Music - 7/10
Technical Sound - 7/10
'I Like' Factor - 6/10