Time Machine: The Nonce’s “World Ultimate” (1995)

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Right now I’m listening to The Nonce’s World Ultimate, and feel it necessary to give it its due props. Sure, in some circles it may be considered an underground classic, but I know there are some very knowledgeable hip hop fans who haven’t had the opportunity to listen to this. From experience in trying to get my hands on it, the album is out of print and your best bet is to scope Amazon or some other site that supports used record/CD sales. I’m sure internet savvy listeners can get their Sherlock Holmes on and find it online too.

Sonically, World Ultimate parallels a Digible Planets-Pharcyde tip. Members Nouka Basetype & Yusef Afloat handle all the production, as per my research. Like many producers from the early to mid-90’s, they utilize a rich blend of jazz samples, creating an extremely laidback sound. Generally, the album is without any hard drums (save for “West Is…” and maybe “Eighty Five,” but both still are low-key). Safe to say, you won’t have to worry about breaking any speakers while this album slips out of your system. Similar to the likes of ATCQ and Jungle Brothers, The Nonce feature some ridiculous basslines. “Mix Tapes,” the album’s lead single, is backed by a sturdy 1-2 combo from bass. Similarly, “Hoods Like To Play” sounds like it could blend nicely with Digible Planet’s “Rebirth of Slick.” And what would a mid-90’s album be without a horn loop? “Good to Go” sounds like a Diamond D beat (imagining Big L rippin’ it), with a horn dancing in and out, alternating in its presence throughout the track. The title track works as the album’s strongest in my opinion. It’s a little more playful compared to the rest of the album and is reminiscent of a Pharcyde track. I really dig the hook, which is simply “World, world, world ultimate” repeating; you have to hear it to appreciate it.

If you’re able to get your hands and ears on this (or if you have it and need to dust it off), do so tonight. With the consistent sound/production and relatively brief play time (@ 50 minutes), it’s easy to listen to from front to back.

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One Response to “Time Machine: The Nonce’s “World Ultimate” (1995)”

  1. Dred Scott - “Breakin’ Bread” (1994) « Trading Tapes Says:

    […] dope music. I’ve been revisiting The Nonce’s World Ultimate for the umptheenth time (revisit my revisit), along with Down South’s Lost in Brooklyn (thanks to WTR for reminding me of this), and Dred […]

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