Local Review: Minute After 8 – Right on Time

Local Music Reviews

Minute After 8
Right on Time

Street: 11.03
Minute After 8 = Yasiin Bey + Frank Ocean produced by The Alchemist + Mach-Hommy

This review is coming a bit late and it is entirely my fault, though I do believe properly reviewing an album should take time. Ironic too, seeing as the album is titled Right On Time. You, though, shouldn’t be like me. This album deserves immediate and rapt attention. The first album from Minute After 8 (a clever way of saying 801) is the SLC rap/hip-hop mixtape that we’ve always needed, featuring valley staples like Moe Deezy, C. Valenta, Jus T and MadeByOk! (who I had the pleasure of reviewing back in January). Another SLC royal Tanner Nicholson guides the album with witty and sincere monologues. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t draw the obvious comparison to Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) in the certified gold album Black On Both Sides. Though no one does it like Bey, Nicholson’s monologues are loose and honest. Opening the album, Nicholson tells an anecdote about a run-in with a high school friend who questions his drastic change. He hits back, saying that he has grown and that growth is never-ending and joyful. There’s some tenderness in it, I won’t lie. Though Nicholson can’t hoop anymore, he can do so much more. He continually confronts the listener, asking, “Where’s your change at?” Perhaps this album is speaking to something larger than personal change, reaching out to Salt Lake itself.

Dreamy is the name for this album, though don’t mistake that for subdued. Each lyricist brings his A-game, but the surrounding tracks feel cozy and smooth. It reminds me of the unmistakable  sound of The Alchemist (Alan Daniel Maman), notably his most popular track “E. Coli.” with Earl Sweatshirt. Perhaps Minute After 8 reached right into Maman’s sample bin when he wasn’t looking. There are moments where the album leans more into trap—tracks such as “Life is Cheap’” draw from a more modern take on the genre, but the album largely stays on course. It’s a strong album and no track fell flat or me. Part of me wonders, too, if Minute After 8 shared a copy of Mach-Hommy’s Pray for Haiti and told his features “It’ll be something like this.” On some tracks, I almost expected Westside Gunn to come out and call me broke. 

None of these comparisons are perfect, as rap is hardly ever drawn with solid lines—it’s difficult to divide who does what and whose beats are whose, but to me it is exciting to hear so many SLC artists remind me of my favorite rappers. I hope Minute After 8 isn’t here and then gone, because this album is solid evidence that Salt Lake’s hip hop scene is thriving. Check out Minute After 8 online and keep an eye on the artists featured on this album: Tanner Nicholson, Moe Deezy, C. Valenta, Jus T, Cig Burna, Dante Lerae, SpitFire, YG Gleeko, Dedric Dean, Madebyok!, Eternal Loser, Doumie, Ghost, Hemis, Kidd Poetic and Jef Doogie. And Minute After 8, if you’re reading this: the album is good shit. –wphughes

Read more reviews of local hip-hop:
Local Review: KJ! – 801s Demos
Localized: Øutset Bandits