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by Matt Conaway
1 January, 2002@12:00 am
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While Nature’s under-appreciated debut, For All Seasons, was placed on Columbia’s proverbial backburner and went through nearly two-years of industry gridlock. Nate’s conversational flow, commingled with production from Trackmasters, L.E.S., and EZ Elpee nevertheless stood the test of time and helped salvage what could have potentially been a fruitless effort. Though, many felt Nate caught wood with his debut, For All Seasons resurrected the name of the Firm’s former #2 draft pick and more importantly displayed an emcee with the potential to carry QB’s distinguished torch.

With all of the turmoil Nate experienced at Columbia, it should come as no surprise that he has taken his services elsewhere (the fledgling Sequence) for his sophomore LP Wild Gremlinz. Though the change of scenery should have Nate feeling more secure; Sequence is not avoiding him, they are building around him, it has not kept him from becoming the latest emcee to become a victim of the sophomore slump. Though Wild Gremlinz plays out more as a re-introductory effort, rather then a proper sophomore LP. It bears asking just whom Nature is attempting to re-introduce, himself, or his under-developed Wild Gremlinz crew. Judging by the title of this endeavor and the number of appearances from his Wild Gremlinz cronies, it would be safe to assume the latter. To make matters worse, these reserved guest-spots are used primarily for Nat and crew to lazily rehash hit and run escapades (“Coming Home With Me” & “Love That Hoe” feat. Bars). Yet, Nature seems just as equally uninterested, as he merely goes thru the motions on “Life & Death” and the chocolate scented “Supa High”.

Though Nature rekindles the story-telling aspect of his repertoire on “Disturbin The Peace” and hits his stride on the steel drum riffs of Megahertz’s “What Cha Know” and the hydraulic funk of “So Fresh”—a remix could spell heavy rotation. These efforts alone cannot mask this LP’s main Achille’s heel—sub par production. It’s evident by Wild Gremlinz antiquated beats that Nature stashed away most of that six-figure signing bonus he received from Sequence, as the production is so wildly inconsistent that it precludes any lasting continuity. Moreover, while Nate may have taken the Cormega approach; not wanting to be known as the “Frazier” to Nas’ “Ali”, the inclusion of Nate’s much-traveled rebuttal, “Nas Is Not”, to Nas’ “Destroy & Rebuild” would have helped quell the monotony if it had been included.

To his credit, Nature remains a viable presence, as his monotone voice still floats effortlessly over even the mediocre tracks at his disposal. However, with Wild Gremlinz, the QB canvas that Nature once painted so vividly on his debut does not include the same emotional backdrop that L.E.S. and TrackMasters once supplied. If Nature wants to keep pace with the Carter’s and Jones’, then he is going to have to develop a more discernible ear when it comes to selecting the beats he paints his portraits over.

 

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