“I’m always doing me. That's the whole objective. Everybody has their own perspective and that's what I've always loved about hip-hop.”—Roga Raph on his new album
'Nostalgiks' is the culmination of several years of hard work, introspection, and most importantly growth from New York emcee/producer, Roga Raph. His throwback-meets-modern aesthetic is one that will inspire and intrigue listeners no matter their familiarity with the genre, and his latest project is the perfect showcase of his always-evolving skill set.
Those who heard his 2015 debut, 'Visionary Shift,' were introduced to an artist who was doing a lot of soul searching and trying to find his place. While Raph is still looking for something new on 'Nostalgiks,' he’s also substantiated his spot in the underground rap scene as an artist worth checking for. You can hear this on standout singles like “Stand Up” and “Won’t Stop,” which are anchored by slick, sample-flipping production, crazy-intricate rhymes, and sing-along choruses.
As the title implies, there’s an undeniable old-school vibe on 'Nostalgiks, 'and Raph knows that some listeners will try to put him in a box. “I anticipate that people will try to categorize me for having ’90s influenced music, but the fact of the matter is I love all types of styles,” he says. “I like to consider myself an ‘experimentalist,’ always trying to enhance the feel whether it be through beats or flow.”
That desire to experiment and “enhance the feel” is what makes the album so compelling from the jump. Raph sets the tone on the blistering head-nodder “Bring It Back” and never lets up, whether he’s tinkering with left-field vibes on “Swimming” or straight-up unloading bars on “Where Ya R.”