CD Review : NDU “The Rebel Zone”

Hip-Hop is a genre of music but it is more often than not called “rap,” which is technically the vocal style. In many ways, people are right to use that term because this music is primarily about the “rap” — the flow and the lyrics. With this in mind, I must first talk about NDU’s raps.

What I truly like about NDU’s songs is his tendency to set up an expectation and then twist it just enough to surprise my ears. A perfect example of this would be “Deadly Love,” which is the first full track after the album’s intro. At first it seems to be a decent, if not regular, love song, but it turns out to be about a couple dying for their love and for each other. It has a dark edge to it that I found refreshing and kept me listening closely.

From this launching point we get several moments of urban philosophy that lies somewhere between Tupac Shakur, but less street-oriented, and K-OS, without the spacey-weirdness he sometimes inhabits. Like his previous release “Twilight,” NDU is at his best lyrically when he becomes more philosophical in his concepts. NDU manages to be thought-provoking at times, but remains contemporary with the state of hip-hop today.

The open-mindedness of his lyrics coupled with some very good production (NDU does some production himself) and guest appearances by a number of local talents all make for a very nice hip-hop record.