When you mix the emotional storytelling aspect of NF and blend it with speedy lines like Eminem, you get the underground rapper Witt Lowry.
The 28-year-old Connecticut rapper dropped his third studio album, “Nevers Road” Aug. 30.
With 11 tracks running a total of 41 minutes, the album, a follow up to his 2017 album “I Could Not Plan This,” blends electronic-based beats with hip hop elements.
It was produced by Dan Haynes, a longtime friend of Lowry.
Lowry features upcoming artists such as a new band named Whatever We Are, R&B singer Deion Reverie and female vocalist Dia Frampton, the latter two having past work with Lowry.
On this album, Lowry, for the most part, drops his Slim Shady style and takes the listener down a somber, thought-provoking journey into his mind and personal life.
After the opening track “Welcome,” Lowry starts with the lead single “Hurt” featuring Reverie for vocals.
The song discusses the pain of a rough breakup with a girlfriend who seemed to have no intentions of being with him long term. In the apparent split, more lies are discovered, causing Lowry to dwell on the ex and question his worth.
This is highlighted in the lines, “Car smellin’ like his cologne and your weed, for months I would think, ‘Is he better than me?’”
Lowry also rolled out one of the costliest music videos of his career for this track, using the location known as the “BatBunker” from 2008’s ‘The Dark Knight.’ In the video, he goes to what seems to be a dating service, going on multiple speed dates and appearing miserable during each one.
This location has also been used by Maryland rapper Logic on a few occasions.
“Alone” featuring Whatever We Are follows right after, telling three stories of people struggling. The first is of Tom facing the insecurities of trying to become famous through social media, all while losing himself to the constant need for likes, comments, and shares.
Following the first verse, Whatever We Are comes in to sing the chorus with slightly adjusted vocals, giving a subtle ambient echo to his vocals over a piano-based beat.
The second story follows Susan, who had a baby in June, but cannot find happiness because she struggles to provide and faces the loss of her granny, adding more stress to the situation. She then turns to depression pills, marijuana and alcohol.
According to a Sept. 2 article from verywellfamily.com analyzing U.S. Census data of 2015, there were 13.7 million single parents, most being mothers, in the United States, raising 22.4 million children.
Of those single mothers, 29.2 percent of them live in poverty.
The last story follows Witt directly, talking about his musical pursuit to prove he could. He goes on to say, even through hardships like losing his father, he is blessed.
Later in the verse, he says he feels “bad” for feeling bad, and he fears being used as a product instead of people seeing him as a person.
After this, the tracks “Crash” and “Proud” follow.
“Crash” alludes to a car crash that occurred on July 26, 2018, where he and his current girlfriend were victims. The song also talks about him being moved on from his previous toxic relationship that was rapped about earlier on the album.
“Proud” is a short track, about two minutes long, where Lowry attacks an unnamed rapper turned critic who must have dissed his music or him as a person early in his career. With its run time, the track can be skipped or easily missed when not paying attention as it is more a transition rather than a song.
“Debt” follows up, featuring Dia Frampton on the chorus singing about pain versus profit. Lowry raps about money, what he thought it meant to be rich, and how the concept changed.
The line “I used to think it meant to flex a Rolex on my wrist” shows how to him, and many others, being rich means to stunt with expensive items like jewelry.
Earlier in the song he alludes to a person barely being able to afford a Ford, but then goes and buys a Porsche just to give off a rich appearance.
Lowry also takes an explicit jab at Student Loan Marketing, better known as Sallie Mae, by calling the company a “b****,” something he has done once before in a track called “Money to Blow.”
Sallie Mae was penalized roughly $60 million by the United States Department of Justice in 2014 for illegally charging military members high-interest rates and fees.
Next is “Ghost,” another single of the album and one of the quicker, more catchy sounding tracks.
In this track, Lowry talks about battling his introvert personality to become a popular rapper, causing natural friction in his psyche.
One of the lines describes not wanting others to know how he’s feeling low, with Lowry stating later in the track that he feels others won’t care until they benefit.
By the end of “Ghost,” the album enters its last leg with four more tracks.
“Oxygin,” a play on the opioid oxycodone, is the slowest and features some of Lowry’s more emotional vocals pertaining to alcoholism and pill dependency to get the figurative weight off his shoulders.
Lowry, over the course of his career, has described his father’s battles with such addictions before his death. He talks about the situation on the track “Reaper,” which follows after the upbeat sound of “Yikes.”
This track is a good break from the sadness given off by the previous few tracks, before getting into the final two hard tracks.
“Reaper,” the track where he discusses his dad’s death, is rapped from the point of view of the cancer that killed him in 2015.
“Just give me a couple years, you’ll never find me in time, just keep eatin’, and smokin’ and drinkin’; you’re so kind,” informs the listener of Lowry’s belief that his father’s addictions fueled his cancer.
From 1999 to 2015, when Lowry’s father died, cancer death counts rose, despite the death rate per 100,000 people steadily declined according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The album ends with the title track “Nevers Road,” where Lowry reflects on the topics of the album along with how far he’s come and wraps them in a bow as a parting gift for the listener.
Haynes posted a letter to his Twitter page the day before the album dropped describing what the entire album meant to him and the strong message, he took from it by the end.
“Always remember where you came from.”