Review | One Werd – Alive

Review | One Werd – Alive

San Mateo rapper and producer, One Werd, is keeping independent hip-hop alive through his latest release from Fake Four Inc.

Regular readers of The Unheard Nerd will know that we’ve been championing One Werd for a few years now, and it’s for this reason we’re hyped to see the Bay Area rapper and producer’s stock rising as his most recent release drops via Fake Four Inc.

The new album, titled ‘Alive’, is an eight track DIY project exhibiting some of the artist’s best work to date. Not content with producing the beats and laying down raps, One Werd also recorded, mixed and mastered each track whilst still finding time to create bold cover artwork.

Musically, a deep-rooted sub-bass rumbles along beneath the foundations of each multi-layered track. Punchy beats, gutsy synths, solid guitar licks and intricate punctuations combine with clever sampling and delicate keys to form a rich sound with as much depth as it has width. Each individual instrumental component is carefully placed and masterfully mixed making the whole release easily digestible.

Even more aggressive tracks like my standout, ‘Them A Vampire’ and album closer, ‘So Electric’ maintain a pop sensibility that should appeal to a potentially wide-ranging audience.

Standout Track: Them A Vampire ft. Ceschi

Vocally One Werd has a natural delivery that sits somewhere beyond spoken word yet teases that there’s a singer inside somewhere just beneath the surface. It’s a tuneful style that rests easily on the ear. Things may get a whole lot faster on the song ‘Icarus’ – which also features guest vocals by Gajah & Ersatz Splynter – but the rapper maintains his soulful essence regardless.

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Other features come from Graves 33, Sleep of Oldominion, Sole and Fake Four Inc founder, Ceschi, on standout track ‘Them A Vampire’.

‘Alive’ is available to download now as a ‘name your price’ release via the Fake Four Inc bandcamp page.

One Werd creates an accessible, intricate, varied eight track album that’s possibly his best work to date. – 4/5

About One Werd | For for the Bay Area emcee and producer, Hip Hop began in the SF bay area amidst a haze of graffiti-based classroom scribbles, open-mic freestyle cyfers, and the peak of the mid 90’s underground scene. Over the course of the last decade and a half, he has toured both coasts of the US, released 7 self-produced albums, collaborated with a plethora of underground names, and maintained a monthly showcase of local and touring artists in SF’s SOMA district.

Will Harrison

About the author | Will Harrison

Founder of The Unheard Nerd. A husband and father of two girls, Will is a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, a comics fiend, a podcast host and champion of independent nerd culture. | Follow will on twitter: @TheUnheardNerd