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Nia

69 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 29, 2000
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$24.99
$21.00 $3.64
$24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by US SELLER: HEAR AND SEE MEDIA and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

With Nia, Blackalicious hit their stride as leaders of the hip-hop true school. The Sacramento-based duo of producer/DJ Chief Xcel and lyricist The Gift of Gab has been creating luscious, intelligent music since they started out in 1994, and Nia shows them at their best. Gab's rhyming skills are supreme, ranging from evocative storytelling about fame and misfortune ("Deception") to rapped reflections on the state of his art ("Shallow Days") and scathing straight spitting ("Trouble"). A true master of ceremonies, Gab keeps it right by grounding his lyrics in his own experience, preventing his antiestablishment message from getting boring. On the musical front, Xcel's beats fit Gab's wordplay like a glove. They range from the funky, caffeinated drum stutters of "Fabulous Ones," to knowing piano-laced patterns (on the genius "Deception") and slinky, serpentine, Middle Eastern styles ("Smithzonian Institute of Rhyme"). Nia is honest music: from Xcel's carefully stitched-together, relentlessly inventive beats, to Gab's personal poetics. This is soul food for your ears. --Lizz Mendez Berry


1. Searching
2. The Fabulous Ones
3. Do This My Way
4. Deception
5. A To G
6. Cliff Hanger
7. Shallow Days
8. Ego Trip My Nikki Giovanni
9. You Didn't Know That Though
10. If I May
11. Dream Seasons
12. Trouble (Eve Of Destruction)
13. Smithzonian Institute Of Rhyme
14. As The World Turns
15. Reanimation
16. Beyonder
17. Making Progress
18. Sleep
19. Finding

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 29, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Quannum Projects
  • ASIN: B00004KD4V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,362 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Adam Chupka on August 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Like any middle school child in 90-92, I thought I knew about hip-hop being the proud owner of "The Chronic", "Doggystyle", and "Predator". Yet, my liking of hip-hop was always extended to just a couple of the hot albums of the day, and I never really considered myself a hip-hop head.

When, just a few years ago, I realized there was an entire undercurrent of, not simply underground hip-hop, but hip-hop that is not force-fed to the masses incessantly, I was intrigued.

Because of acts like Blackalicious, my intrigue has waned in favor of outright militancy.

As a seventh grade teacher on the immediate outskirts of Washington D.C., I have the challenging, yet enjoyable task of trying to connect with some of the most brilliant teenagers in the world, as well as those whose futures have been pre-condemned because of socioeconomic setbacks.

I thank God for musicianns like Blackalicious because they project hope and positivity.

Throughout the year I will post quotes and play snippets of songs from NIA to pique the interest of my students.

With "Cliffhanger" we can study the elements of plot structure.

Not since Slick Rick has an MC made storytelling so compelling.

Gift of Gab displays an astounding ability to couple precise flow with a variety of tempos, always blessed with creative, and most often, thought-provoking lyrics.

The beats, ranging from soulfully-melancholic head-nodders to upbeat funk numbers, provide the perfect backdrop to Gift's signature flow, and foretell of the ability Chief X-Cel delivers on later releases.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dinkus Malinkus on August 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of the most amazing albums I have ever heard! I've been a fan of DJ Shadow for ages and when I heard Quannum's "Spectrum" I loved Gift's rapping and had to buy the A to G EP and this. Its one of the most diverse sounding albums out there and the tracks could stand alone even without the Gift of Gabs' often outstanding lyrics. The music is amazing, the rapping is incredible. DJ Shadow and the almost equally amazing Latryx make guest apppearances - stand out tracks "If I may", "Smithzonian Institute..", "Shallow Days". Shadow is as inventive as always on the positively weird "Cliffhanger". THis album is so accomplished it leaves nearly every other hip hop album I've heard for dead. If you know anyone who refuses to listen to hip hop, introduce them via "Nia" and let them see the light. Hopefully this is step one in a new breed of soulful hip hop
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brent Lippincott on March 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
What is this stuff called again? Oh yeah, I remember. It's called real hip hop. Progessive and stylistic through and through. I give this album 5 stars because it's Blackalicious. I'll admit, there are a couple of tracks I could do without but this album is on another level. Gift of Gab is on point as usual and I still can't get over that Shadow produced track "Cliff Hanger." It is the most psychedelic and gothic hip hop song I think I have ever heard. Throw your new commercial hip hop albums in the trash because the future is NIA.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By melissa Bardfield on May 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is the best new album I've seen in a long time. I love every song. Blackalicious is bringing hip-hop to new levels of intelligent lyrics. This is the kind of hip-hop that you can play someone who doesn't like hip-hop, and they'd be into it. (This is actual feedback I've recieved-as I'm a radio DJ). All TRUE hip-hop heads don't even need to question the fact that blackalicious has mad flow and dope beats. If you love music, buy this album. You will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dinkus Malinkus on August 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of the most amazing albums I have ever heard! I've been a fan of DJ Shadow for ages and when I heard Quannum's "Spectrum" I loved Gift's rapping and had to buy the A to G EP and this. Its one of the most diverse sounding albums out there and the tracks could stand alone even without the Gift of Gabs often outstanding lyrics. The music is amazing, the rapping is incredible. DJ Shadow and the almost as amazing Latryx make guest apppearances - stand out tracks "If I may", "Smithzonian Institute..", "Do this my way" and " You didnt know that know". DJ Shadow is as inventive as always with the bizarre "Cliffhanger". With 19 tracks, none any worse than great, it'd be a shame to miss out on this accomplished, groundbreaking album. If you know anyone that refuses to listen to Hip Hop, introduce them via "Nia" - and they'll see the light.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul H. on August 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Nia by Blackalicious is one of the best hip-hop albums I've heard this year. This doesn't sound like anything else in hip-hop. The beats, produced mostly by Chief XL, are drenched with soul and funk and the Gift Of Gab drops some amazing verses. "A To G" finds Gab reciting verses using only one letter of the alphabet while he tells a familiar story of selling out in hip-hop on "Deception". "As The World Turns" is an amazing hip-hop/soul song while "Cliff Hanger" showcases a dark fantasy tale. The first and last tracks also showcase some nice poetry. When I got through listening to this album, I was stunned. Nia is one of the best hip-hop albums I've heard in a while. If you are looking for some thought-provoking lyrics and some rich, soulful production, you must own this album.
P.S. If you like this album, be sure to pick up Latyrx's The Album.
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