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The Riviera Autonomy Music Album Review 

Original Link: The Riviera by Jack

Artist: Short Fuze & Uncommon Nasa 
Album: Autonomy Music 
Record Label: Uncommon Records 
Release Date: 19th July 2016 

There are few in the underground Hip-Hop game who have been as prolific in recent years as Uncommon Nasa. Having been in contact with him for about three years now, a new project is always an exciting prospect- there's always the sense that it'll be a journey, a sort of post-modern re-visitation of ideas and values that are well-cited that then get re-claimed and re-dissected to comply with Nasa's personal achievements and world-view. 

Autonomy Music is Nasa's third collaborative project with fellow New York MC Short Fuze. Nasa sits back and takes control of the production reigns, leaving most of the literary character of this record to Short Fuze, whose dynamic rhyming system and sometimes intensely personal lyrical direction mean that Autonomy Music (more often than not) offers exactly the right amount of feel and atmosphere that one has come to expect from Nasa's ever-widening platform, Uncommon Records. 

The record's first half (save the sample-lead, reflective and re-constructive intro of 'Art Gallery of Autonomy') serves as a more direct helping, whether it be via Fuze's self-deprecating honesty on 'The Darkest Place I've Ever Been' or the gritty, hard-nosed dissonance of 'EMPD'. The production is brilliantly judged at almost every point, and gives enough space for Fuze's laid-back but urgent tones to take the front and centre stage. 

It's on the doom-laden 'Self Distortion' that things begin to get more poetically introspective. "Hell is a ferocious prison", quips Fuze with tangible vulnerability, with Curly Castro coming through with a verse the smacks of loss and disappointment. Though this track (and others before it) re-traces religious iconography, at first it's hard to know whether to take these references as sardonic or not, but on 'Time And Space' any rejection of nihilism is swiftly done away with; "Reaching for the teachings of God, when the hand that feeds is bitten off", jests Fuze cruelly, re-citing the same disdain for spiritual belief on the following 'Addicted to the Horn'. On the penultimate track 'Oddest Future', over Nasa's crushingly stomping boom-bap Fuze is almost reminiscent of Zach De La Rocha in his rapid fire, venomous righteousness. 

Though Autonomy Music doesn't ever really drop the ball in terms of its thematic guidance, there are some less memorable moments. When it's at its absolute peak (the last four songs) it's steam-roller momentum comprised of reflection, personality and lyrical providence offers a vast plain of thought-provoking and musically hard-hitting listening. These days, Uncommon Records has basically become synonymous with esoteric quality. 


Damn That Noise Review  

Original Link: Damn That Noise Review by Ralph Perez

Autonomy Music is the 2nd full-length album from Short Fuze & Uncommon Nasa with the last being 2010’s Lobotomy Music, and it is a ride through internal struggles, depression, and spiritual wrestlings’.Short Fuze is the kind of MC who does not rush through a song layering his lines with vague plays on words as filler, this man is thoughtful, calculated, and sure of his voice. Uncommon Nasa is a skilled and respected MC in his own right, but with this project he has taken a supporting role on the mic, but a Director’s role on the sonic aspect, as the main Producer for the entire project with excellent results collectively. 

If you came into this album hoping to not have to think then you’ve come to the wrong place becauseShort Fuze is going to question your stance on faith and science (“Time & Space”), our adolescent ideologies (“Beggar’s Buffet”), and also getting lyrically fit while paying homage to legends (“EPMD”). I respect MC’s like Fuze because you can hear from songs like the Curly Castro featured “Self-Distortion” that he carefully pens his thoughts out and lays out his vulnerabilities without apprehension, and anyone who can relay lines like “Of Course it’s come down to me and God and how much I’ve missed you. Father, you should’ve known I have commitment issues” is someone I want to continue to support and listen to. 

Hip-hop is rooted often times, in talking about how dope you are, how tough you can be, how hard your crew is, and how unfuck-with-able you are in general, so when you get vulnerable & honest music from MC’s like Short Fuze (and Uncommon Nasa) it is almost our duty to support and share the music with anyone in range. Autonomy Music is a progressive piece of music from Uncommon Nasa’smasterful production job to Short Fuze’s near Hemmingway-Esq approach to writing about life and it is our duty as members, visitors, founders, and lovers of Hip-hop culture to make sure this reaches all corners of the listening map. 

 Rating: 9/10

Scratched Vinyl Review 

Original Link: Scratched Vinyl Review by Chi Chi

Emcee Short Fuze and producer/emcee Uncommon Nasa have been frequent collaborators over the years. If you’re not already familiar with their music, all you have to do is listen to their third full length together, Autonomy Music, and you’ll immediately hear how well they complement each other. 

There are a lot of things to like about Autonomy Music. If you’re familiar with Uncommon Nasa’s production, this is more of what he does best – some dense, prog-inspired beats that balance the weirdness of the underground hip hop of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s in New York, alongside the gritty-yet-pop-friendly production of New York groups of the early ‘90s like Wu Tang and Mobb Deep. Lyrically, Short Fuze finds a similar balancing act, bringing in some more abstract philosophical discussion alongside concrete personal narratives and pop-culture references. What really elevates the album, though, is the back and forth between the two artists. There are a few moments spread out over the course of the album where Uncommon Nasa places some audio clips before songs, and while in general I advise artists to do this sparingly and to try to keep things short as to not kill momentum, Nasa has a knack for finding some really compelling and thought-provoking clips that get you thinking, only to have the music kick in and Short Fuze piggybacks off of some of the ideas presented with his rhymes. Add in some guest verses from Nasa and Philly emcee Curly Castro, and we have one incredibly solid indie hip hop album. It’s weird without being alienating, and it’s fun while still being challenging and not afraid to embrace its oddness. 

If you like your hip hop gritty and intellectual, but still having a pop sensibility and some humor, Autonomy Music is for you. Short Fuze and Uncommon Nasa really work well with each other, and the push and pull here has resulted in some really great hip hop. 

Title: Short Fuze & Uncommon Nasa - Autonomy Music 
Label: Uncommon Records 
Year: 2016 
Rating: 8/10