- This review from 2016 fails to mention the EP’s racist premise and alleged promotional campaign, does not hold the artist to account for its culturally appropriative production style, and uses the derogatory term "spastic" as a descriptor. Since this article was published RA's editorial has made a number of changes and commitments. See more about them here.
It seems likely that Nigella's Self Titled EP is the work of Gerry Read. The uncredited first release from Read's Big Head label features a number of the UK outsider's trademarks. Rugged sampling, chunky drum sounds, unfussy recording and production techniques, overt references to modern African-American music—these core components feed all six tracks here. The only major difference between Nigella and Read's usual output is a lack of uptempo 4/4s; this is wall-to-wall mutant hip-hop, rap acapellas chopped and warped over brazenly sloppy beats. Imagine last year's hard-knocking "Limp Biscuit Anthem" as a blown-out trap remix instead of a wacky filter-house bomb and you've got the gist of Self Titled.
Whoever Nigella actually is, they borrow liberally from some of Southern rap's biggest names. "No Handz" is little more than a stripped-down, scuffed-up take on Waka Flocka Flame's 2010 hit "No Hands," while "Strip-Fuk-Suk" uses clanging drums and bloated basslines to make Travis Porter's strip club ode "Do A Trick" feel even nastier than the original. More obscure is the source material for "Turnup," which reworks Flocka and Yung Gwapa's "White Boy Wasted" into a busted club banger. In a number of ways Self Titled's conceit brings to mind Mad Decent's 2010 compilation of disjointed Gucci Mane remixes, but the consistent style and varied tempos keep the package from being scrapped for parts. Toss in two instrumental beats of varying quality ("Jamaika" gets too spastic with its clunky groove—yet another hint of Read's presence), and you've got a handful of secret weapons that could boggle the strangest dance floors.
01. No Handz