NUE u met me at a strange time

NUE u met me at a strange time
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Over the course of a year and some change, Toronto rapper NUE went from an artist with a few singles and mixtapes under his belt to a major label artist signed to 300 Entertainment, home to Young Thug and Fetty Wap. If there's one thing his latest EP, u met me at a strange time, reveals, it's what happened during that journey.
 
Stretched over ten tracks, the young rapper revels in sludgy synths and muddy 808s to speak of what has become "regular" content in today's pseudo-trap world: money ("Deathstar"), drug dependencies ("Part Time Lover") and lifeless romantic relationships ("Say Nothing"). Ultimately, the EP serves as a series of diary entries that at times seem relatable, but more often just feel like a call for help.
 
Despite his silky deliveries and cinematic production (including work from Danny Phntm), NUE fails to truly indulge in his powers and show who he is — not who the world expects him to be. In the rare moments where he pulls back layers to show more ("in2deep," "Say Nothing"), he reverts back to the mask that seems to envelop his emotions.
 
Though frustrating, NUE gives listeners a glimmer of hope on the ballad-like "Chances" and guitar-driven "Neverland," where he stands out for who he is: someone who has felt pain, but is still trying to figure out how to move forward from it, and more importantly, with whom. "Why don't things ever end how I want," he even raps at one point.
 
It's evident that his ambition to survive is strong, but maybe NUE is right — maybe we did meet him at a strange time. Nevertheless, this EP gives us just enough hope that the next time we meet, he'll be ready to take over. (300 Entertainment)