RAWview: Nines - Crop Circle 3
When Nines dropped the album cover for 'Crop Circle 3' on 15th September I lost my 'ish!! Like..what? Is this the movie? Or are you actually dropping your 2nd album? Nines dropped 'Crop Circle 2' in April, and either way it's safe to say the comments on the Insta post went off, and rightly so.
5 days later he's dropping his debut 'Daily Duppy ' trailer. If this is truly to be his final album then he is going out with a BANG!!
So, now the Daily Duppy drops, (Hold tight ProdKarlos because the beat is MAD!) it's riddled with simile's, punch lines and metaphors - I had to listen a couple times to catch them all, and when I finally did I just had to chuckle.
'If I was ever window shoppin', I was buyin' new tints'
'I re-ed up more than a bookworm'
'All these grown men dependent like they hangin' on my chain'
I could go on but you get the jist. And, then it's like Nines put on a pair of running trainers because for the rest of September he went on a mad promo run. He had Crop Cat and the mandem out in a van with the biggest bag you've ever seen and the buds were flyiiiiinnnng...I saw one video of the aftermath and all I'm saying is it was looking like the 'Green Brick Road' and a man was telling people to stop stepping cause he wanted to pick them up - then he shows the merch - t-shirts & Crop Cat teddie's and finishes the month off by dropping the track list. I saw two Skrapz features, Blade Brown, Tunde, Mark Morrison & Tiggs Da Author (Nines & Tiggs tracks ALWAYS slap), 15 tracks just like Crop Circle 2..yeah I was ready.
The beginning of October...Nines was just mocking it by dropping video trailers of numerous tracks off the album (I Do, Toxic, Good Morning, Not Guilty & So High). Oh, and announced 'Crop Circle 3: The Movie' was also dropping soon. This told me that Nines has been busy this year because the video trailers looked sick, and had me thinking "yeah Nines is definitely done after this album cause nobody's done this, the workrate is mad".
So now the album drops.....same day as Drake, and I don't know how many times I spun that album or wheeled up a track, I'm telling you the album bangs!!!
The Intro with Alhan.."Neeeeeeeeennnnnaaaaaaaaa bo bo" set the tone nicely - "Came outta jail like i'm over trappin/ I got customers tellin' me I know your cappin'/ bout to drop my last album I'm gettin' old for rappin/ i was just 16 I don't know what happened" - These times the piano's still playing and then the beat drops... "I got bookings but probation won't let me out the country" - Nines uses the Intro to let us know what's been going on, and touches on things such as legal issues, the old times and where he's at financially.
We then get into 'Only One' (produced by Jackson Romain & Jacob Manson) featuring Skrapz & OURAA - This one got wheeled up a couple times still; the beat baaannnggssssss. Nines & Skrapz body this beat nicely, they just ride the beat effortlessly and drop a couple subtle punchlines - it's in Nines verse where he gives us the indication to where he's going once he hangs up the mic "my accountants on me cause I blew a mill/ told him chill out I'm bout to sign a movie deal" - ALRIGHT DEN!!!! But I can't lie to you Skrapz's verse......*screws face up*. The flow and rhyme schemes are dumb!!! Man attacked it with real intent "All i needed was my freedom/ a couple million & a machine g*n/ for all the dirt I've done I need a clean run/ catch me with some new season Celine on/ and my bait beam on/ my g***k 17 with the green beam on it". He closes the verse by saying "Where was I when the bar got set/ someone tell them n****s I ain't even started yet" - It's safe to say Skrapz was rapping like the rent was due.
We then go into 'So High' (produced by 1stBornMusic & Luke Grieve) featuring Max Valentine & Shocktown - As a man who used to be the title of this song I fully appreciated this one. The beats mellow, laid back and the hook is MAD catchy - you just find yourself singing along to it and all current and ex-stoners can relate to the "I just wanna get high & stay at home/ s'like i stared in Medusa's eyes the way i'm stoned".
'Toxic' (produced by Dizzy & Jacob Manson) featuring Bad Boy Chiller Crew isn't one I expected but I tell you what it's grown on me the more I listen to it - I rate it and I like the fact that Nines made this kind of track, it show's he doesn't care, and isn't afraid to experiment. This is that track that you could hear in the club and people won't come off the dance floor. What I like about this track is that Nines didn't change his formula for this one, he kept it real, he also lets us know what music he listens to "I don't listen to rap, R&B gets pumped in shower/ I went jail and got bigger, like when Mario jumps on the flower/ Still waterin' plants, cost more than my Warnеr advance" and continues to deliver how we all know Nines to deliver, he even gives us a little flow switch and speeds it up. I know some won't like this track and probably screwed their face up and skipped it but I'm telling you if you like music and can appreciate when an artist experiments you can appreciate this one.
We then get hit with the 'Daily Duppy' freestyle which broke GRM Records by becoming the highest charting freestyle (#20 on the single charts with 14,013 sales) in Daily Duppy history; the previous record was held by Central Cee (#35 in January 2022). The freestyle was actually released under Nines' independent label, Zino Records - what a sick move!
'Never Be Me' (produced ProdKarlos & Jacob Manson) featuring Blade Brown is coooooollllllddddd!!! You know it's gonna be a sick one when man starts by saying "I aint trappin' it's a new neena, now i gotta chef and a pool cleaner/ had to tell them sneaker heads pipe down, walk in my room it's like Niketown". He's letting us know he's levelled up and that his kick game is mental, he's always been drippy. Blade bodies his verse & does what he does; mocks it with lines like "if I turn this line off I'll probably start a riot/ if you ain't a 7 figure n***a keep it quiet/ didn't used to let me in the club now i can buy it" - "and i know they wish i slipped up and caught a few slugs/ but just left Roley I brought a new sub"
'Not Guilty' (produced by ProdKarlos & Show'N'Prove) featuring Tiggs Da Author & Mark Morrison is one of the deeper tracks of the album where Nines take his spin on Mark Morrison's 2006 comeback track 'Innocent Man' and gives us an insight into life behind bars, his thoughts & hood life. Lines like "now I'm on the wing moping floors/ I was supposed to bring the whole block on tour/ I can't be a mogul from behind these walls / all my peers getting rich while my life's on pause" to "where I'm from n****s will sell your mum c***k/ love chat/ smile up in your face but stab you in your back" and "all my young bucks roll around with bally's/ only been to funerals cause no one gets married"
Now we get into 'I Do' (produced by Show'N'Prove & Jacob Manson) featuring Tunde & Mugzz - Oi when he dropped the video trailer I went MUUAADDD cause he used a sample from Snoop's 'Gin & Juice'. Nines & Tunde trade flows and sick wordplay and Muggz provides a sick catchy hook, I wheeled this one up a few times and in the era of samples; this one works really well.
It slows down again when we get into 'Good Morning' (produced by ProdKarlos & Jacob Manson) and THIS TRACK HERE SLAPS!!! You hear the hook once and that's at the beginning, then it's just Nines straight merking and rapping; this one is riddled with sick lines, punchlines & metaphors like "I was trappin in SCOTLAND with a milf I BAGGED then I PIPED then her p***y got KILT" to "F**k jail I'm never going back I hate SCRUBS like TLC" to "we dem hard boys I ain't talking POKEMON when I say my n****s squirt tools (Squirtle) and blast toys (Blastoise)". I've wheeled and replayed this one soo many times - it's easily one of my favourites.
We then get into 'Max Elliot' (produced Show'N'Prove & ProdKarlos) featuring Big Narstie & M Dot R which, like 'So High', is for the stoners, and trust me we've all come across a Max Elliot. "Gets higher than Sizzla but you won't catch him buying no rizzla". This one is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album and won't have everyone going mad but it's not for everyone, it's definitely for the smokers.
'My Turn' (produced by ProdKarlos) gives us an insight into where Nines is currently at in his life, thoughts on the game and also reflects on past events. Lines like "ex drug dealer now I spend my days on the golf course" to "the industry's flooded with actors/ like i'm up in the Bafta's/ n****s hustling backwards/ they aint plug's they adaptors", and "In the churches I'm the bud pope/ I had bricks of them white birds they weren't Dove soap".
'Could Of Been' (produced by Handz Beats & Jacob Manson) featuring Miraa May is Nines sharing his experience and pain when it comes to love, he is a RnB man after all so it's only right this kind of track is on the album. It's nice of Nines to share his experience and thoughts around heartbreak and let's us know he ain't got time to be salty like over-seasoned food, charge it to the game and move on.
The pace and greaze steps up with 'Line of Fire Pt 7' (produced by ProdKarlos) featuring Little Torment, Trapstar Toxic, Fatz & Streetz is another one of my faves off the album. Little Torment's verse get's reloaded each and everytime. 'Line of Fire' is a continuation of the cypher from his previous albums and has Nines bringing in rappers he rates and likes - I like the fact he does this and will miss it to be honest.
The second Skrapz feature and penultimate track is 'Devils Rejects' (produced by Handz Beatz & Jacob Manson), has the potential to becoming a classic. Skrapz and Nines really are like Jordan and Pippen. These 2 glide over this beat so calmly and with ease. Nines bows up and reminds us that he's been dropping classic after classic for just over a decade. It all started with 'From Church Rd To Hollywood' in 2012, 'Gone Till November' in 2013, 'Loyal To The Soil' in 2014, 'One Foot In' in 2015, 'One Foot Out' in 2017, 'Crop Circle' in 2018, 'Crabs In A Bucket' in 2020 and 'Crop Circle 2' in 2023.
The 'Outro' (produced by Jojo Mukeza & Daniel Buhlebuyeza Miles) featuring Debbie is where Nines lets us know his future plans to go into movies and TV and his views again on the game. This track feels cinematic, I can hear him rapping with a highlight reel of clips from his old videos, freestyles and just showing the growth and transition to him shooting his past, current and future films.
I think this album bangs, and in my opinion after spinning it daily since it's release i can hand on heart give it a 9.5/10.
I'm a big fan of Nines, and it's been sick watching him do the album roll out one last time up and down the country, all we really need is that final Nines tour where he can perform all his classics on stage one last time.
As a music lover i can appreciate this album and haven't skipped a track once whenever i've listened to it, i've learnt most of the tracks off by heart and have filled up most of my playlists with the tracks from the album. Nines is a genius, man stepped in the game, made his money, has made some sick moves, has dealt with bare setbacks, made his p's, made history, brought trophies to Church Road, set up a label & got a deal with Warner.
I'm intrigued to see his works in the movie & TV industry, and if this really is his last album then Thank you Nines for the bangers and classics.
'Crop Circle 3' is currently sitting at #2 in the UK Album charts and I'm hoping on Friday he gets that #1 spot which is currently occupied by Drake's 'For All The Dogs'.
Stream 'Crop Circle 3' here.