Elevator Music

Bishop Nehru’s recent album paves a progressive path for hip-hop


Twenty-one-year-old rapper Bishop Nehru released his sixth album, “Elevators: Act I & II”, a compilation of dreamy beats and soulful sounds, on March 16th.

This album, similar to his previous works, is short but significant in its groovy melodies. “Elevators” is only thirty one minutes long and consists of twelve songs. It is split into two equal parts “Act I: Ascencion” and “Act II: Free Falling”.

The album opens with the one minute intro “Act I: Ascencsion,” which highlights a conversation between Nehru and an elevator attendant. The interaction is set to the distant sound of gentle flutes and idle lobby chatter. The interesting introduction draws listeners in and sets up the premise of a story.

The second song on the album, “Driftin’” is based on the same enchanting flutes that were introduced in the first track. The elegant melody is accompanied by a smooth bass line and resembles a soulful yet dreamlike state of mind. Lyrically, Nehru incorporates well-constructed rhymes that are easy on the ears. He cleverly references past albums, his release patterns, and sports and pop culture stars.

“Up, up & Away” closes out Act I of “Elevators” and displays the musical talents of Lion Babe, the only feature on the entire album. The song continues to exhibit a mellow and relaxing sound with it’s dreamy beat and laid back lyrics. It i’s an anthem of hope that closes with a juxtaposing yet delicate electric guitar riff.

The entire first Act of the album, produced by Kaytranada, a popular canadian DJ, outlines Nehru’s struggle and effort to forge a unique path and style in the music industry. It represents his ascension into his individual musical style in the music world. Songs like “No Idea” highlight Nehru’s confidence in his untapped potential and his minor explosion into hip hop stardom as a result of his own perseverance.

Nehru believes that his individuality stems from his creative process, in which he aims to produce something new each year.

I tried to take that inspiration from Kanye, and try to think outside the box and try to do something that nobody would do,” Nehru said in an interview with Billboard. “I feel like I already know what I can do as far as the lines of music theory, and making a good project that people would like on a lyrical level. So I kind of want to experiment with different things and have fun with that as well.”

The second half of the album was produced entirely by MF Doom, an English hip hop artist and record producer. After the introduction, Act II of “Elevators” opens with the song “Taserz.”, a more fast-paced song with a jazz fusion feel.

The tenth song on the album, “Potassium” is clearly a standout track. It’s full of peppy notes and achieves a balance between sounding cutting age yet simultaneously unaffected by the current desperation of today’s artists to produce songs that sound original. Everything from it’s catchy rhymes to it’s groovy beat is an exciting success.

Act II of the album, “Free Falling”, is more jumpy and gritty than the first half, but is still backed by the same soulful and authentic feel. This Act is a representation of the New York Rapper’s reacclimation to reality and the necessary business deals and obligations he must endure to be realistically successful in this day and age.

The album finds its origin in a dream that Nehru once had.

“Well, I pretty much had a dream where I was in an elevator that was climbing up really high floors and then dropping. It just kept going up and down, up and down, up and down, until I figured out how to get out of the elevator. I had to push the button to where it got to the floor. That’s how I stopped it from free-falling. It took me a while to figure it out,” Nehru said to Billboard. “Just the feeling of that, it was something that I felt was significant, and I had to figure out what the dream was about… So I pretty much put it into the music and the title.”

Though previously deemed the “future” of rap by popular rapper Nas, Nehru has yet to become a household name as hid subtle yet significant album deserves a new level of recognition.