Software Records has a new kid in town: 19 year-old Ian Evans, aka Napolian, is hitting hard with his Kanye West-inspired electronic hip hop beats. His Rejoice EP leaves the listener with an apocalyptic feel after a journey through Napolian’s musical mind. One of my favorite tracks, “False Memories,” brings to mind a P. Diddy/Dirty Money cut, built on an instrumental base similar to some of Diddy’s well-known tunes of love and heartbreak. And the EP’s song titles could be a montage from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. For example, “Ascension,” “My Refuge” and “New World” definitely give the vibe that if the end were near, you’d better be playing Napolian when the trumpets of heaven begin to sound. Napolian’s “Banquet” drops a heavy beat after a few moments, then the B-boy comes out. I can definitely see the baggy pants-wearing, shell-toe Adidas-copping, gold chain-hanging hipsters getting down on street corners with this one. The tracks don’t all sound the same, the way they do with some beat producers; I admire Napolian’s artistic ability and his variety of textures. He must have used every drum and Auto Tune tone he could muster to come up with these gems. An amateur or veteran in the hip hop game could freestyle to any of these beats, but I’d especially like to hear a conscious rapper spit something to Napolian’s “Guns and Synths.” His beats are haunting yet uplifting. You’ll emerge from this listening experience alive, triumphant and rejoicing.
Jennifer “JayBee” Beasley