As I was looking for the perfect song selection for my radio show last year in 2020 called The Merry-Go-Round, I stumbled upon a gem of a song. I literally could not stop playing it for months. Every day I went to the park to practice skating, this song was on. Any new playlist I made, this song was in it. It was even more perfect because it featured the great C.S. Armstrong’s vocals. The song is called Bottom Dollar, and it is phenomenal. The cool part about this song is that it was originally a jam session that Nascent later pieced together, it is no wonder you can feel the raw passion in the beat. Take a listen!
I was immensely obsessed with that song. It always makes me break out into some rhythmic dance that involves a lot of head bobbing and air drumming LMAO, but for real - it was genius. I couldn’t wait for the next song to come out, and when it did I literally wanted to faint. Nascent had yet again recruited another amazing feature, Orion Sun, for his song Forever.
I was already a big fan of Orion Sun, so to see Nascent produce yet another perfect song? I was mesmerized! He instantly became a favorite.
Did you know he is Mexican too? … I know that’s right.
Nascent is a Chicago-native producer who has been in the game for a minute. Their first big-name collaboration was when he got to produce for 50-cent, Strong Enough (released in 2009). Most recently he has produced Grammy-nominated songs such as Good Days by SZA and Hurricane by Kanye West. Nascent made a playlist full of all the songs he blessed with his production skills. I recommend checking it out here: Produced By Nascent.
Minus the Bullshit Life’s Great is about all the losses Nascent went through to get him where he is today. Truly, a transformative experience. I chose to review this album because it means a lot to me; every listen inspires me just as if it were the first time. I can never skip a song off this album! The album was officially released in 2020 and contains 13 beautiful songs:
1. Got Fired
2. Bottom Dollar
3. Lover Boy
4. Forever (feat. Orion Sun)
5. On My Own
6. Lock It Up
7. I Be Doin Too Much
8. Straight Forward
9. Caught Up
10. Don’t Grow Up Too Soon
12. This Sounds Chicago AF
13. Minus The Bullshit
For this review, I’ll write down what each song made me feel, noting what I visualized during. I want to paint a picture in your head. This album tells a story, and by the end of it - you’ll see the painting I made for Nascent in honor of what the album Minus The Bullshit Life’s Great has inspired within me.
A blessing growing in your heart. Painful, scared, but hopeful and elevating. This song is the beginning of the losses, but it still lets me know that everything is going to be okay.
Busting open the door, I am walking out with confidence. C.S. Armstrong’s passionate and soulful vocals are the perfect instrument. I feel unstoppable. I got everything in me ready. I trust the process as long as I keep dancing to my own tune, wherever it may lead me.
Candy-like synths and beautiful piano made me feel like I’m walking down the park on a beautiful sunny bright day. I am grateful for life. I appreciate the love I am surrounded by. I carry myself with the spirit of those who believe in me.
Forever (feat. Orion Sun)
This song really pulls and weighs on my heart. Fighting against the storm that I’m willing to walk through, just for you. Only to find no one on the other side. Orion Sun’s sweet vocals beautifully evoked the emotion of abandonment, but still forgiving. It is the cycle of life - heartbreak.
On My Own
Falling into the deep waters that are my thoughts. Sharina’s vocals allow me to feel lost, troubled, confused. Processing how alone I feel - releasing the pain of it all. Accepting it.
Lock It Up
A bell rings. A new chapter begins. Light shining on me, I feel renewed and determined. Duckwrth and Saba’s lyrics demand attention. You want to see me lose, but you won’t. Your evil eye can’t touch me, I locked it up and sealed it away. I’m gonna live my dream and everything that I want will come to me.
I Be Doin Too Much
Orchestral instrumentation is *chef kiss*
Feels like a hidden truth has been uncovered, a revelation.
Shuffling out the darkness, shaking off the dust. I’m smooth cruisin’, opening my heart to the unknown. I will not miss my opportunity due to fear, I am here. I am present. And I want to try something with you, no complications needed.
Jordan Ward has such a playful and comforting voice!
Stepping out of my comfort zone, but this time I am not gonna push away how strongly feel about the situation. This will not be my reason to end it all. I am not okay, but that’s okay. I’m not always going to be okay, but I’m always gonna be real about how I feel. Passionate, powerful. Hamzaa is literally perfect in this song. Do you hear that dreamy violin?
Don’t Grow Up Too Soon
Dreaming about the journey. Thinking about my past. Reviewing the lessons learned, and how much life has changed me. It feels good to remember how I got to the place I am in now. Remember your roots, remember where you come from. This song serves as a reminder to stay true to the innocent inner self within you.
Waking up. I have been me this whole time, I don’t think I plan on wavering from my path. Mez’s melodic rap style lets you know he is being unfiltered and not trying to hide how he feels about anything. Sharina’s elegant vocals complement beautifully and agree that nothing can change me but me.
This Sounds Chicago AF
Stepping onto the heavenly clouds that call my name. This feels like home. This feels like where I belong. Korporate sweeps in to confirm that everything has aligned, to forget the people who tried to hold him down. We gonna be gewwwwwwd.
Minus The Bullshit
The pearly gates have finally opened. Ill Camille and BJ The Chicago Kid’s vocals elevate me into a state of peace. I am golden, divine. The final act - the journey’s tale is put on stage. A warm embrace to my loved ones. A thank you to the universe.
Minus The Bullshit Life’s Great made me feel protected and loved; it allowed me to feel the pain and confusion without ever leaving me without hope. So, I painted that. The painting below is in my personal style of “go with the flow and paint with your heart.” As long as I held that little paintbrush, the album was playing and only this album.
Minus The Bullshit Life’s Great is a spiritual experience. It is an elegant album with tales of a journey full of losses, but still getting back up. It is a hopeful piece of art that inspires me to not only continue growing as a person but also grow as a creative. It is a ray of hope shining down to the depths of your soul. Nascent is incredibly creative and I thank him so much for choosing to share his story in the form of a transformative album.
Thank you for reading <3
Now stream that album a bunch more times, we’re dealing with a Grammy nominee here!!
Written by Hierba Malita on 12/03.2021, a new moon.