Charleston artist and BandUP CEO, NiMo Bluus, successfully set the tone for February with the release of his 5th studio, but first solo album, Bluus Cluus. NiMo has been releasing high levels of quality content since the release of his album Corona Season in 2019. His super slick, Gullah infused tonality, interlocks with nostalgic-trappy and sometimes dark instrumentals, to create a gumbo of sounds from Bluus.
The timbre of Bluus Cluus almost takes you back to late 90’s during the Cash Money/ No Limit era. With production from Philly P, BlvkkRose, Puff Glizzy, and more, I can tell off-rip, there’s going to be a handful of bangers on the album.
Starting off with “Microwave” NiMo introduces the listener to a smooth, Pimp C-like soundscape, grazing over his brash delivery and straight-forward lyricism. The mix almost gives off a lo-fi ambient tone, while maintaining an obvious drive, creating a strong and quite catchy introduction to the work.
“Don’t Pick Up” and “SH!T” usher in the first sonic transitions in the album. Coming from the more ‘lax energy of the opening tracks, “Don’t Pick Up” smacks you in the face with a Manny Fresh inspired beat, accompanied with the singy hook: “.. when I’m outside, don’t pick up the phone/she say boy i know you see me calling, girl just leave me ‘lone/don’t need to leave no voicemail, just check the tone/you don’t even gotta talk about it, girl just leave me ‘lone..” I promise you this hook will be stuck in your head after the first listen.
Then to keep the energy on the up and up-“SH!T” comes out of nowhere, sounding like a full cup of dirty sprite. At first glance, you would think that NiMo teamed up with Future due to the flare and effects on his vocal tones that bounce all over this fun, thumpy beat. But no, it’s not the Toxic God, it’s the homie NiMo Bluus showing levels of versatility by jumping outside of the box with these seemingly experimental vocals and puts together a wavy and once again, catchy, BOP.
One of my personal favorites on the album is “Honey Love”. Outfitted with a smooth sample of the original “Honey Love” by R.Kelly, NiMo slows it down and ‘lays the mack down’ over 64 bars. If I could present one word to describe this track it would be debonaire, but still rugged and raw. On top of being a HUGE fan of sampling, I’m drawn to the overall flow and tone of “Honey Love”.
The second half of the album is a mix of flavors strictly for the streets and includes a few of his previous hits such as “Fork” and my all-time favorite, “Bluu Magnolias” from the BluuHunnit BrickRoad album. NiMo ends the album with “In My Hands”, which honestly caught me off guard. This closing track begins with a gentle loop of raw acoustics and a slow build into a simplistic drum-kick combination, that couples wholly with the gritty and poetic free-flow NiMo chose for this track.
In parallel to the other songs on the album, I was taken aback to hear the natural instrumentation and NPR Tiny Desk type vibe. This piece added a sort of graceful air to the final farewell of the album.
All in all, NiMo brought music for every spectrum of listener with Bluus Cluus. From lo-fi trap and new age southern crunk, to high frequency club tunes, NiMo left no stone unturned with this one. The album effortlessly weaves in and out of the various subgenres of trap music, leaving reminiscent footprints of classic southern cadences and melodies.
Throughout the album, I heard pieces of some of my personal favorite southern artists and groups: Cash Money, No Limit, Three Six Mafia, Future, and Sauce Walka. Lyrically, he stayed in the pocket and kept strong melodies flowing from song to song.
Whether you are getting to the bag, spending it, or in the mix of everything in between, Bluus Cluus is a #GXLDAPPROVED guide on how to stay cool, keep it player, and get that dolla, dolla bill ya’ll!
Click here to learn more about NiMo Bluus and BandUP DaLabel, and don’t forget to stream Bluus Cluus on all available platforms!