Album Review | Nonazz & LUNAR – Tread Lightly

This album was released on February 3rd this year. I pretty much went into it blind. I had never heard a single performance from Nonazz at all prior to hearing this album. I’m definitely more familiar with LUNAR’s work, but I still wouldn’t even say that I’m that well versed in his artistry. The reason I checked it out in the first place is that I’ve seen Nonazz floating around Twitter a lot, and I’m already familiar with LUNAR’s work, so I figured I’d give this one a shot. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna write about it or not, but after listening I decided it would be a good idea to bring this project to your attention.

The album starts off with a pretty cool Intro. I think I was indifferent towards it on my first listen of the project, but when I came back for repeat listens I found myself enjoying it a lot more. I just think LUNAR’s instrumental here sounds really nice. It’s a good way to set the tone for the project. I fuck with this track. I definitely think it lasts a little too long; it kind of gets old by the time the track is over, but that’s just me being a major nitpicker. It’s pretty good. The first actual song is called Lost Orphans. Honestly, I don’t really care for this track. The beat is fine, and the rapping isn’t bad at all, but the flow is just a bit too familiar to me. It sounds pretty bouncy and accessible, but I just feel like I’ve heard a lot of rappers do this flow before. The actual bars themselves are definitely good though. The flow gets a lot more impressive towards the end of the track too. It’s actually pretty nice.

The waving tides that's pacing by
The shade behind an ancient tribe
Was laid inside, impatient minds
Was breakin' mine, just say goodbye
And take myself away from eyes

There’s not really anything about this song that stands out in a bad way. It just doesn’t entertain me enough for me to want to come back to it. At this point during my first listen of the album I wasn’t sure if I was gonna like this project, but the following track was thankfully pretty enjoyable to me. It’s called Beyond the Beyond, and it’s performed by a featured artist named Gothic Delphine. I wasn’t familiar with this artist prior to hearing the album, but I was pretty satisfied with their performance here. I don’t think their vocals are super impressive or anything, but they definitely are sufficient. It’s mainly the production and overall style of the song that has me sold. I think this one is pretty good. It’s followed by Persephone, which features the first performance from Nonazz that actually really impressed me. The production here is actually pretty stellar, I’m not gonna lie. I love this beat. The minimalistic approach to the percussion is an interesting choice. Some people may love it, others may hate it. Personally, I don’t really have a preference. I think the beat still would have been good with some heavier drums, but they aren’t necessary. Anyway, this song pretty much convinced me that Nonazz is a really technically skilled lyricist. He’s got a pretty good voice for rapping too. I really loved his flow and rhyme patterns on this track. I wish I had the lyrics. They’re really good though. I was really impressed by both Nonazz & LUNAR here. The rapping is great, and same goes for the production. It’s a dope song. The next track is another really dope one called Execution Ladders. This one features an artist named Tau with whom I was previously unfamiliar. I enjoyed their performance here though. The opening verse from Nonazz is pretty fantastic.

If they never find me I'll be made alone, away from all abrasive core
My favorite door's what often opens to a paradox
Perished in a narrow glare of fog, I couldn't spare it off

His flow is mad nice here. The production from LUNAR is also really good. The percussion is still kind of minimal, but it’s much more noticeable than that of the preceding track. The one thing I started to notice with this track is that the songwriting on this project isn’t super detailed. Every song is pretty much just rapping with no hook or bridge or anything like that. When it’s done this well it’s still enjoyable, but I think one thing that could take things to the next level on the musical end of things would be to flesh out the song structures a bit. That’s just a personal thing though. It would make the music more memorable and interesting to me, but I know there are a lot of artists and listeners that prefer this more straightforward structure. Anyway, I really like this song a lot. I think the production is nice, the rapping from Nonazz is fantastic, and the featured artist came through with a really good performance as well. It’s a dope song. Track 6 is called Sea Lab. I really love the weird, kind of mystical-sounding production from LUNAR here. It kinda sounds like an underwater level in a Super Nintendo game. It’s a really pretty instrumental. Nonazz killed this shit too. His flow is really nice, and he was rhyming very well. I love the way the beat switches up for the final minute of the song. I’m glad Nonazz came back in to spit over that part of the beat. He sounds great here. This last part of the song really elevates things for me. I would’ve liked it either way, but I think it’s a lot better than it would’ve been without that outro. It’s a dope track. The penultimate song is called Sparrow, and on my first listen I thought that this track might be my favorite song on the album. I absolutely love the soft, comforting-sounding production, and Nonazz’s rapping over it is great. His flow was tight. It’s another really straightforward song. The whole thing is just one verse. The production is really good though, and Nonazz sounds great over it. I think it’s a dope track. The closing song is my favorite track on the album though. It’s called Heavyweight, and it’s pretty fantastic. I absolutely love the production here, and Nonazz’s flow on the hook here is really cool. The fact that there’s even a hook in the first place helps push this song to the next level for me. It feels like a more fleshed out song than a lot of the other tracks. I think this was a great choice for the outro. It feels like the climax of the record to me.

There's always curtains at the ending, rest assured
If you can't appreciate the efforts it ain't meant for yours
Fallen angels left for words of sorrow when the trenches burn
I'll probably hear 'em calling, I can talk to one of my friends who served

The electric guitar riff that comes in towards the end of the loop is really nice. I love this instrumental, and Nonazz killed it. This is definitely my favorite song by them. I think it’s dope as hell.

This is a very good album. There was only one track on here that I probably won’t be returning to, but I don’t even think it’s anywhere near being a bad song at all. This was a really good introduction to Nonazz as an MC in my opinion. I mean, I didn’t like the first song I heard from him, but I was sold by the time the project was over. I think he’s beyond competent as a lyricist, and his flow is very nice. He’s also got a pretty good voice for rapping. I don’t really have any complaints about him as a rapper. I’m convinced of his skill. I look forward to hearing more work from him in the future. As far as the production goes, I think these are some of the best beats I’ve heard from LUNAR. However, I guess that technically isn’t saying much because I’m not really that experienced with his music. I was really impressed by these beats though. There’s not a single instrumental here that I don’t like. I feel like the beats just got better and better as the album progressed. The one area where I think there could be room for development is the songwriting department; this project kind of feels like a collection of verses rather than an album with songs. I mean, it works, and there’s nothing wrong with this approach to making Hip Hop at all. It’s just that for me personally I find it easier to get invested when there’s a bit more going on structurally. I am pleased with this album though. I’m glad I listened, and, as I said earlier, I look forward to hearing more from both of these artists, whether they be working together or separately. This album is dope. Check it out.

Favorite Song: Heavyweight
Least Favorite Song: lost Orphans


Grade: B

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