James Nasty's Calvert St.

James Nasty's Calvert St. (July 22, 2014)

The first time I played third-wave Bmore club classic ‘Samir’s Theme’ for a friend of mine (a house DJ in his 40s from Raleigh almost entirely unfamiliar with our homebrewed dance music), he immediately exclaimed “DAAAMNNNNN, WE NEED SOME BLOWWWWW RIGHT NOW,” whipped out his phone, and made a couple of calls. 

I imagine he’d have a similar reaction to James Nasty’s ‘Do It,’ the hits-the-ground-running hostile highlight from “Calvert St.,” all tangled up in ‘Think’ thumps, Lil Jon “whut-whut-whut-whut”s, gun shots, and even that pit of disembodied howling voices thing that Blaqstarr brought to the table about a decade ago. ‘Do It’ also features the neighborly shouts of 92Q’s Porkchop (his first significant appearance since KW Griff’s massive ‘Bring In Da Katz’) and gets the remix treatment from Washington, D.C.-based club explorer Tittsworth whose label T & A is putting this thing out.

Point is, when Nasty’s sturdy EP is interested in anything other than pounding your fucking ears in, it intends to engage club’s newest wave (‘Where All Da Freaks At’ features TT the Artist) and leave hip-hop and R&B mainstream behind, even for raw material. See, Nasty’s sample sources lean toward whatever the hell he knows how to freak right and feels like freaking: Rap legend Slick Rick and early aughts stoner comedy “How High” on two versions of ‘Don’t Stop,’ and Elephant Man on ‘Fan Dem Off,’ morphing a vocal snippet of the dance-hall hero into mumbling moombahton. You’re hearing club music eat itself here and that’s thrilling. Damn, we need some blow right now.