February 28, 2015

The Nonce "World Ultimate" (The Source, April 1995)

"L.A.'s underground scene is blowin' up, and in the midst of it all you have two brothers, Yusef and Nouka, AKA The Nonce. Having already produced and performed with Freestyle Fellowship, as well as working with underground artists such as Aceyalone, Superb and Ganjah K, The Nonce are adding to the West Coast's 'other' flavor, handling both the production and rhymes along the way. The album is a collection of cuts with mid-tempo beats and dominating keyboards with just enough bass to keep your speakers alive. There's also some experimentation going on, resulting in a few weird sounds on cuts like "Hoods Like To Play" and "Good To Go," which sounds like you're sitting in the middle of a swarm of bees. The experimentation isn't bad, but overall it's the beats and the keyboards that carry the production. The Nonce don't fall short on rhymes either. They have a fairly distinctive smooth flow with Sef sounding a little like Digable's Butterfly. Nouka's deeper and more aggressive tone combines well with Sef's not-so-aggressive approach to create an almost harmonizing effect."

"The topics of choice with The Nonce are nothing really new: "The Bus Stops" is dedicated to all of the honeys around the way; "J to the I" is about forgetting the jimmy hat and the real consequences of that mistake. But their style and delivery are enough to make you listen anyways, especially on the album's most solid cut, "Keep It On." The only major drawback of the album may be the slightly corny and unimaginative hooks used on "Good To Go." The hooks tend to take away from the fact that the rest of the track is generally good, which is evidence of talent. While the album is missing a little something, it should help break down the belief that only G-Funk and gangstas come out of L.A., while offering something a little more original and different." - The Source, 4/95