Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Nick Brewer may be part of the UK underground rap scene, but his intriguing take on this particular style of music is quite uncommon. Instead of talking about drugs and sex, a common theme found in most rap songs, Brewer focuses on relationships and what comes with relationships: love and heartache. Not only is the lyrical content unconventional but the musical content is as well. Brewer manages to make a calm, steady beat work and shies away from aggressive, rough beats, giving his EP an overall airy feel.
Starting the EP, “So Good” manages to be fun without being too upbeat and relaxed without being flat. By using Moods’ “Love Is Real” as the backing track and layering his lyrics over it, “So Good” becomes the perfect feel good song. Starting the song off with Teddy Pendergrass’ song “When Somebody Loves You Back”, you can’t help but sing along. Then comes in Brewer with his impressive rhyming skills, which manages to flow flawlessly with the backing track.
“Sun In Your Eyes”, is eloquent and heartfelt. As parts of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Stormy Weather” repeats in the background, we get a sense that this song possess pure honesty as Brewer talks about a relationship that is clouded by dark thoughts and struggles. “I don’t see it how you see it, and maybe that’s why every time we speak, we’re disagreeing” says Brewer at one point, later going on to say how he’s fighting demons for this loved one who is struggling with depression, “I’m fighting demons for you even though you don’t believe in that kind of thing”. The sincere lyrics of “Sun In Your Eyes” truly makes it a gem and reveals to us a different side of Brewer.
“Jail” featuring Jacob Banks is another track that is not meant for the lighthearted. Brewer lightly speaks of his struggles when he states “I’m sick of forever sinning and blaming the world I live, and my mother gave me advice, and I know I should of listened”. Shortly after that he talks about his friend who ends up in jail, “He’s sitting in prison, got caught with a double ounce”, states Brewer. The once again honest lyrics paint a picture for us of what Brewer had to face as he was growing up.
“In The Quiet” featuring George the Poet contains the same pure, lo-fi beats that were found in “Jail” and continues to keep up with the reoccurring aspect of containing sincere lyrics. The almost ghostly music in the background adds a strange sense of comfort and stillness. It connects perfectly with the lyrics and is a nice breath of fresh air.
“Ashamed” once again talks about a relationship that seems to be going through some rough patches. We hear Brewer talking about how the girl he was seeing changed into a different person and how he still wishes to work it out. Not until later do we find out that the girl has been cheating on him, “But now there’s something I don’t believe, cause you’ve been getting under him when you ain’t over me” says Brewer in about the first 15 seconds of the song. It becomes even more evident in the second verse when he says, “How could you cry on my shoulder and see another man?”.
The last song found on the record is a cover of “E.T.” originally by Kano & Mikey J. The take on this song is quite unique and the addition of Joel Baker on vocals, whose vocals are equally as distinct, manages to tie the song together. After about halfway through the song, the music stops and the mood of the track changes, causing you to be somewhat mystified.
Overall, ‘Flat 10’ by Nick Brewer is full of clever rhymes, glassy beats and honest lyrics. It is a fresh take on rap and the result is impressive, putting Brewer on the map.