Our First Impressions of Nasty C’s ‘I Love It Here’
With features from Ami Faku, Benny the Butcher, Maglera Doe Boy & more
With features from Ami Faku, Benny the Butcher, Maglera Doe Boy & more
With over a decade of experience in the game, Nasty C still stands as one of South Africa’s most visible rap stars. After introducing his music with mixtapes and an extended play circa 2012-2015, the artist got his breakthrough with 2016’s “Hell Naw,” winning hearts across Africa with his immaculate emceeing skills and ear for great production. With ‘Bad Hair’ (2016) and ‘Strings and Blings’ (2018), Nasty C was championing the wave of African rap, imprinting his brand of both vulnerable-plus-braggadocious music.
In 2020, Nasty C inched towards international fame after signing a deal with Def Jam Records. That year, he released ‘Zulu Man With Some Power,’ with appearances from the likes of T.I, Ari Lennox and Lil Keed. His freestyles on international platforms—Fire in the Booth, BBC Radio 1Xtra and On The Radar Radio—have also complemented his efforts and raised his profile as a wordsmith. Last year, he announced his partnership with Carry1st to launch the video game Call of Duty across South Africa. On his IVYSON GAMING page on YouTube, he connects directly with fans who share his love for music and gaming.
Earlier this year, Nasty C and fellow South African artist Cassper Nyovest announced their African Throne Tour, which runs from August 18 to October 28, starting in Arusha, Tanzania and ending in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nasty C also revealed his new status as a father. It’s all these changes and achievements that feed into Nasty C’s fourth studio album ‘I Love It Here’. The project features appearances from Ami Faku, Benny the Butcher, Manana, Tellaman, Anica, Maglera Doe Boy and 25K.
The NATIVE editorial team dives into the album, and in true fashion, we give our honest thoughts on the Nasty C’s latest body of work, from best song to stand out production, biggest potential hit, biggest skip and more.
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Nwanneamaka: I may be cheating by choosing “This Time” as my favourite song and favourite verse but for the sake of doing justice to my palette, this is the only right answer. One of my all time favourites from Nasty C is his Rowlene-assisted “SMA” and I think this reminds me a lot of that. Ami Faku brings out a softer, more emotional side to Nasty C which keys perfectly into the project’s themes, still allowing his gleaming braggadocio shine through. Other than an effortless vocal pairing, the production by Lekka Beats knocks the track up several notches with its trumpet shouts, steady bass pattern and light shakers. Simple formula but works really well.
Dimeji: “Prosper In Peace” easily takes the top spot for me. I love the melodies, I’m a big fan of calmer, sing-song rap and Nasty C definitely delivered that. The message also stood out to me, he’s just trying to grow and people won’t let him do that. Bonus points for the feature from Benny The Butcher, his verse definitely tied the track together.
Chigoziri: “Prosper in Peace” by Nasty C featuring Benny the Butcher is an exceptional collaboration. The production is top-notch, with captivating beats and impressive lyrical delivery from both artists. It’s a track that seamlessly blends their talents and leaves a lasting impact.
Emmanuel: Rap was the focus on this album and you can hear it clearly. It’s the least Nasty C has flirted with pop sonics on a project and the result is a drum-heavy, boom pap sonic atmosphere. As a rap head, I respect the choice very much and I had a lot of favourites. “Release Me” and “Broken Marriages” are quintessential spaz-out beats, spurring ridiculous faces as Nasty flows through them. “Sunset Walks” with Tellaman also sounds like the title; laidback but possessing its own unique energy, which we can really say for a lot of the production here. Nasty has always had a great ear for beats.
Alex: I think the tracks of this project were properly and meticulously produced. It’s quite hard to choose a favorite, however, I think the production of “Crazy Crazy” was crafted beautifully. The piano sounds, the drums, and the vocals were in perfect harmony. “Crazy Crazy” has this soothing effect that I didn’t seem to experience in other tracks.
Moore: “Broken Marriages” definitely has potential to be a huge hit. On the surface, the song already has an infectious rhythm that makes listeners play it on repeat. Taking time to listen to the lyrics then adds another layer to the track, as it alludes to the pain that comes from growing up in a broken home, something many can relate to.
Dennis: “This Time.” Easiest answer TBH. The vibes are very “SMA” as Nwanneamaka mentioned above, which went on to become a huge hit. It’s not that he’s repeating the same trick, it’s that Nasty C knows how to make emotive slaps with featured singers. (Also, those pair of Manana features are bonkers.)
Nwanneamaka: HUGE Ami Faku fan so it was only right that my favourite verse “This Time.” The synergy between the pair is almost magical as their tones differ yet manage to complement each other perfectly. Ami Faku smoothly glides between English and an SA language I can’t quite place but still resonates with the track’s themes beautifully. Her verse is very soothing and reassuring as she softly croons, “I still need you, I won’t let you down. I won’t miss this time.” And you know what? I believe her.
Dimeji: In light of a lot recent developments, the first verse of “Fuck That” really spoke to me. Nasty C raps about giving him his flowers while he is still here, and I see it as an oath to all the people we’ve lost recently, especially in the industry because so much has been happening.
Moore: While I wouldn’t be in a hurry to skip any track on this project, I’d have to say “She’s Gone & The End” is the one I’d likely skip past. Its slow beginning goes on for a bit too long, and even after the song begins to pick up in energy it’s never quite as engaging as most of the other songs on this project.
Dennis: I have an agenda against “Crazy Crazy” because I didn’t like it when I first heard it as a single. It sounds better within the flow of this album but it just gnaws at me that what I think should ideally be a deep cut was chosen as a single. That said, I can’t pick a skip within the flow of the project. That’s more than I can say for his last album, which I thought was really, really good.
Uzoma: I’d have to settle for both Ami Faku and Maglera Doe Boy. Over the drum-heavy “This Time,” Ami Faku’s vocals provide a different vibe; her singing is smooth and relaxing, complementing Nasty C’s raps. On “Kill The Noise,” Maglera Doe Boy does vocal twists and turns with the verse, alternating between singing and rapping. His verse is the fitting outro for the song—as the message he passes across washes over you.
Chigoziri: The relaxing essence of “Kill the Noise” is truly a beautiful masterpiece to sink into. Anico’s soothing voice and Maglera Doe Boy’s ability to perfectly switch from singing to rapping while delivering his message sits just right on the track. They all complement each other so effortlessly as they showcase their undeniable talent. While listening to it, it really feels like you’re killing the noise around and taking in the message of the lyrics.
Alex: Nasty C has been consistent in his crafts, delivering excellent records that resonate with his audience in an intimate realm. ‘I Love It Here’ is proof of his unwavering talent that’s unextinguishable. His bag of talent never runs dry. With this project, Nasty C attests to many things: he cares for the listening experience of his fans, he cares about diversity of sounds which he shows by his choice of features, and he cares about his status as a continental rapper, and hitmaker which he consolidates with this project. ‘I Love It Here’ is Nasty C’s best works yet, and he is not resting anytime soon.
Dennis: I don’t think many people are going to call ‘I Love It Here’ Nasty C’s opus – that honour still belongs to ‘Strings & Blings’. What this album is, is a show of evolution from an artist who’s grown up in public but has kept some details private. Those moments of vulnerability make the boastful ones a lot more than specialty fare, because by now it’s impossible to know that Nasty C is great at project invincibility. The veneer hasn’t worn out, it’s just been polished to show a different glint when the sun’s out.
Daniel B: I believe ‘I Love It Here’ represents some of Nasty C’s finest work to date. It’s a meticulously crafted masterpiece, and the entire listening journey was thoroughly enjoyable. What struck me most was Nasty C’s strategic use of featured artists, as opposed to the common trend of scattering them haphazardly throughout the album. In particular, the collaboration with Benny the Butcher stood out as my personal favourite, a seamless fusion of two distinct rap styles. I’m confident that this project will receive a warm reception, solidifying Nasty C’s status as a formidable presence not only in African music but also on the global stage.