Hip-Hop is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Switzerland, but rap group Nefew are looking to change that. Made up of rapper Polemikk and DJ / Producer PA-Double, Nefew are the first non-athletes to sign an endorsement deal with sportswear giants Puma. However, fashion and lifestyle are not the only areas where Nefew are making waves. Their new EP ‘Homesick’ which is available on iTunes today is a testament to not only Hip-Hop, but the unique dexterity shown by lyricists and producers in countries beyond the US.
The Puma supported project which boasts stellar production and various guest appearances, is an insight as to what we can expect from this prolific duo in the New Year. The running theme on the EP can be said to the ‘pains, gains and pitfalls’ of the rap game. In just six tracks, Nefew cover more than most of their contemporaries would do in a 12 track LP.
Never the one to take lyrical shortcuts, rapper Polemikk blesses Homesick with witty wordplay and introspective storytelling. The track ‘Flashing Lights Pt II’ is a perfect example, dealing with the poison of fame and the moral maze that accompanies success. Over haunting ‘Taiko’ drums Polemikk laments about the proliferation of mediocrity in today’s hip-hop; how talentless MCs suddenly make it big while the chorus is provided by singer Damon Daye.
G.O.O.D Music signee and New York rapper Consequence hops on the single ‘Biko,’ named after the famed South-African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, with the song could be said to be a extended metaphor for going against the tide. Nefew recognize the gimmicks most rappers use today in order to get airplay yet throughout their EP they are determined to stay true to the true essence of Hip-Hop, avoiding generic pitfalls.
The EP switches gears with Ear Pop, trading soulful samples for spacey synths, the result is a more electronic Daft-Punk-esque sound, complete with robotic voices. Polemikk employs a faster flow to match the speed and excitement of the beat.
The song ‘Unless’, a considered manifesto which details their approach to their music displays an unwillingness to change their appearance and lyrical content to suit expectations. It is a befitting addition to this solid offering from the Swiss / American duo yet is a subtle warning shot to contemporaries who have tainted the art form and who are guilty of resting on their laurels.
With this EP Nefew states their ambition and they are quite clearly sonically and lyrically capable of greatness.