On August 3rd of 2018 rapper and songwriter Nova Justyn surprised many with a new mixtape entitled M.U.D. The project is titled with an acronym which stands for Music Using Dirt. Beginning with a very comedic skit, and ending in solid keys to success, the tracklist holds nine unique listens.
The first two songs on the project are equipped with all the horns, and whistles. Nova approaches each of the beats with mostly one verse full of knockout punchlines, and wavy flows. From start to finish, the audience is given a vivid look as to what makes Nova who he is, and the confidence he carries within his gift. Both songs require more than one listen just to completely grasp every line placed over the intense three-minute duration of each track.
After the dexterous freestyles, the tone of the tape switches to an even more upbeat scale. A song entitled‘Luke Warm’ includes convoluted verses accompanied by a fetching chant that is used as the hook. The instrumental provides an old school, yet modern vibe as Nova Justyn channels the 90’s Baby version of himself. Overall the song explains the significance of being passionate and driven, with an exciting twist. Disappointment is then expressed towards those indifferent towards their craft.
Once ‘Luke Warm’ reaches a close, drinks are poured, and a toast is made within the fade away. The project then transitions into a softer, more charming melody. ‘Pure White’ is an ode to a special someone that depicts an initial meeting followed by enjoyable adventures. Nova tries on auto-tune, and it fits him well. A call and response method is brought forth to express sincere emotions. The song ends in a standing ovation.
From pleasant, to political, assorted styles continue within the sixth track of M.U.D. ‘American Dream’ includes abrupt piano keys and rhythmic bongos. Over the lively musical sounds, a light is shed on certain environments, that usually go unnoticed. Nova utilizes the platform he has attained to challenge his community to work together and be productive. The fact that dreams are attainable is stressed throughout the record, but listeners are also reminded that effort works hand in hand with goals to become reality.
Speaking dreams into existence is the main topic of that comes after ‘American Dream’. On ‘Word is Bond’ Nova explains that creating music gives him a chance to not only vent, but to escape reality as well. The positive message is laid across a smooth beat that could brighten the mood of a dark room on any given day.
Ending on a motivational note, the last tune on the mixtape is called ‘Hold On’. In the first verse, Nova illustrates emotional hardship including feeling fatigued, and unhappy. At the same time, he remembers to mention reasons to appreciate the life he lives. Throughout the hook he harmonizes with himself, the importance of remaining strong in the face of real issues is voiced. In the second verse, the artist questions his own vices and searches for better ways to deal with pain.
His search does not come to an end, but a new way of thinking is brought forward.
The sampled voice of CEO Kino Watson whom along with Princeton Watson produced M.U.D can heard at the end of the mixtape. On track nine Kino compares accolades to a favorable dish. Gaining instant popularity can feel good for a moment, but it tends to fizzle just as quickly (microwave success). Letting genuine work build traction organically is deemed more rewarding (marination).
Overall this project is extraordinary. Diversity is established through both production, and subject matter. Music Using Dirt contains songs great for clubs, first dates, and even protests. This project includes something to hear for any age group. After the memorizing sounds of M.U.D, the next project from Nova Justyn, and Unanimous should definitely be one to look out for!