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Terius Nash (The-Dream) – 1977 review

When you write and co-produce a number-one hit like Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” it pretty much solidifies your ability to get whatever the hell you want in the music industry. For Terius Nash, it was getting signed to Def Jam Records and being offered a shit load more options to produce A-list artists. Having received accolades for his three previous albums under his alter-ego “The-Dream,” Nash proved to the hip-hop community over the past four years that his production chops weren’t Grammy-winning just based on the final touches of Rihanna, Beyonce, and Mary J Blige (whom he also lent an ear to on “Single Ladies” and “Just Fine,” respectively), but rather that his name was worth something beyond the mixing board.

On his newest project, though, the rapper’s made a bold move. Hailing from one of only two industry genres that still make money off record sales, Nash is giving 1977 away for free. One step beyond Brit experimentalists Radiohead, the Atlanta native doesn’t even offer the option of paying, but after a day of theorizing, I think I’ve figured out the true reason why he did something so unorthodox in the hiphop world. Unlike Nash’s other records that focused on the heartache of his marriage and divorce with Nivea, this one instead focuses on the tough subject of his breakup with Christina Milian after getting caught frolicking with his assistant. With evidence that his album due out later this year targets Nivea once again, I take away one theory from this free download: Nash just wants Nivea back, so he’s trying to literally discard the memories of Milian.

And the honest truth is, I just want to discard them now too. For all the attention The-Dream has gotten, Nash’s first attempt at a solo record under his real name just sounds like the same autotune bullshit that college dollar-beer nights lap up across the country. “This is Rolex music,” he claims on “Rolex,” and though unfortunately the half-assed attempt at a beat would probably make him enough money to buy one, it’s gratifying to know he won’t this time. But that’s the sad part; there’ll be a next time.

By Matt Edsall

Matt's obsession with music rivals few other obsessions in his life. ("The Wire" and drinking coffee are two of them.) He resides in Los Angeles, but hopes to settle in Nashville. You can check out more at his own music blog (link below), as well as at Popmatters.com, where he also does album reviews.

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