An introspective evolution
Having operated primarily in the realm of the underground rap scene in the beginnings of his career, Bishop Nehru has often slipped through the fingers of mainstream listeners. However, with the arrival of his newest album, My Disregarded Thoughts, Nehru has struck a nerve in his new and open-ended approach, greatly broadening his horizons through the use of a highly eclectic assortment of beats and musical stylings. Engineered and recorded in his home state of New York alongside longtime collaborators and mentors, MF DOOM and DJ Premiere, My Disregarded Thoughts is a perfect example of an album created by an artist looking to break out of their natural rhyme.
As with his previous releases, Nehru’s albums can often be interpreted thematically as one would a movie or a novel. However, unlike these other art forms, each new chapter offers an almost anthological new take regarding the concepts of the overall piece. Within this album, Nehru experiments with a vast array of sounds and approaches to his craft. Whereas tracks such as “3 50 in LA” and “Never Slow” offer listeners the slick unstoppable Nehru flow they know and love, others such as “WhyDoes theNightSkyTalk2Me” and “OurEnergyIsAstral” see Nehru explore a much softer side of his musicianship, yet to be seen in his previous works.
Nehru is clearly not someone who wants to be pinned down by his previous work. With this album, Nehru ultimately seeks to prove that he is no one-trick pony and that he has plenty of lyrical clout to back up each and every style of beat thrown his way. One of the album’s tightest tracks, “In My Zone,” offers listeners a whole new take on Nehru’s previous approach—introducing a contemporary trap rhythm—whereas previous albums often saw him on sound bite laden 90s hip-hop tracks. Later on into the album, “Me and My Thoughts” continues to showcase Nehru’s abilities to champion any contemporary style thrown his way, while still bringing to the table his unhalted lyrical drive—matching the driving intensity of the trap snares behind him.
Furthering this notion of personal and musical evolution, Nehru lays down track after track of new and innovative sounds in a seemingly effortless fashion. Within the track “Too Lost” Nehru reveals his deepest insecurities regarding himself and the way in which he has been living his life. This heavily R&B-influenced track acts as a conversation between that of Nehru’s various selves—be they past, present or future—in an attempt to ward himself away from those stressors and influences that have ultimately halted his journey. In a similar fashion, “All of My Years” sees Nehru exploring an introspective, gospel-esque quality that has become more prominent over the past decade; in large part due to its use by colossal industry names, such as Kanye West and Chance the Rapper. However, it is within the undeniably groovy “meathead” that Nehru returns to his roots as he is joined by his friend and most prominent lyrical feature, MF DOOM, for what is likely the most familiar track for classic Nehru fans.
While it can be difficult to pin this album down at times, there is never a lack of energy from Nehru; certainly no lack of talent. The album unloads track after track of head-bopping ammunition, as Nehru dips a toe into numerous sub-genres throughout his lyrical domination of My Disregarded Thoughts. This album feels truly special in the sense that almost no two tracks are alike: while Nehru may incorporate lyrical ties and references between these shifting melodic sequences, it is clear that his musical journey throughout making this album was one of introspection, evolution, and change. In taking on a more fluid approach to stylistic principles and through coming to tackle more mainstream styles, Nehru has proven that he is one of the hottest up-and-coming rappers to look out for in the next few years.