Natti (of CunninLynguists) - Still Motion (Review)

Natti (of CunninLynguists) - Still Motion

"Still Motion" is the debut solo album by CunninLynguists emcee Natti. The album features guest appearances from Freddie Gibbs, Sha Stimuli, Substantial, Shiesty Khrist and others as well as production from Kno, SunnyStylez and Deacon The Villain (who produces the majority of the album). It was released digitally on September 24, 2013 and physical copies should begin shipping on October 8, 2013.

1) Still Motion - The first song on the album has an ill instrumental with some lush keyboards, upbeat drums and soulful vocals by Deacon The Villain. The song acts as a sort of introduction for Natti, who kicks a quick verse using a smooth double-time flow to let his listeners know a little bit about himself as a solo artist. The track is really dope and is a great way to start the album. Too bad it's so short since it left me wanting more.

2) Another Galaxy - This is Kno's first contribution to the album and it's just as good as expected. The beat is dope as hell, with a looped up vocal sample, resonant synths, ambient guitars and head-nodding drums. Natti comes through and just destroys it, kicking some vivid weed-inspired rhymes about being "lifted, drifting in clouds I created." This shit is fire.

3) All I Need - Deacon the Villain returns for the production duties on this track and comes through with an instrumental full of funky guitars, jazzy horns, piano keys and soaring backing vocals in addition to providing additional vocals on the chorus. The beat has a real celebratory feel to it and Natti rips it, spitting some witty and humorous bars about all the things that he needs in life just to get by. Very dope.

4) Bright Lights Big City - This was the first single released in promotion of the album and its banging. The beat has some beautiful horns, soft piano's and more funky guitars layered over smooth drums while utilizing a dope vocal sample on the chorus. Natti comes through and bodies the beat, kicking some rhymes about how the big city can "swallow you whole mind body and soul."
"Stars on the ground and scraping the sky
Steam underneath streets, hells baking a pie
Even those with vertigo finding ways to get high
One hand motion for hello and goodbye"
This shit is fire and is one of my favorite songs on the album.

5) Late Night Cruise (featuring Young Chu) - This track has another smooth instrumental with some bluesy guitars, breezy keyboards and soft backing vocals by Deacon (who also provides the chorus). The beat has a nice carefree feel to it and is sure to get your head nodding a bit. Lyrically both Natti and guest Young Chu sound great on here, rapping about people who make poor decisions in life and choose to spend their money on material things instead of on the things that really matter. Very dope.

6) You Black Bastard (Skit) - Skit.

7) Just Like You (featuring Freddie Gibbs and Studio) - Kno returns with an absolutely beautiful instrumental that has some spaced out synths, deep bass, rapid-fire hi-hits and a soaring backing sample. The beat is heavenly and both Freddie Gibbs and Natti come correct for their verses while Studio provides the chorus. Freddie Gibbs and CunninLynguists have always made dope music together so it's really great to hear them link up again on this song. Another banger.

8) Pusher Man (featuring Mino Slick) - Deacon the Villain is just killin' it with the beats on this album so far and this song is no exception. The instrumental on here is entrancing, with more acoustic guitars and a soulful vocal loop as well as a "falling" sound that sounds like Deacon is running his hand down a guitar string and then distorting it. Despite being it's own unique entity, the beat on here actually reminds me of the song "Brain Cell" off of "A Piece of Strange" for some reason. Anyways, Natti comes through and effortlessly bodies the track while Deacon and Mino Slick provide the chorus. This shit is fire.

9) Filthy Hard - This song has a somewhat darker instrumental than many of the other songs on the album so far. The beat, courtesy of Kno, has some resonant keyboards over head-nodding drums and Natti rips it yet again, kicking some harder street rhymes while Deacon provides the chorus. Dope.

10) G.O.R. (Gods of Rap) (featuring Sheisty Khrist and Vegas Posada) - The beat on this track is also a little darker than the others, this time with some organs and synths over hard-hitting drums. The instrumental has an intense energy and meshes well with the aggressive and boastful lyrics of all three emcees. I think Natti comes the hardest, though, when he spits
"Rulers with no subjects rapping about fly shit
In the scale of my creations, what’s smaller than fly shit?
But y'all don't seem to get it
Or wanna understand
Until a Titan is smiting with an open hand"
This song is dope, but it's not my favorite on here.

11) Architecture (featuring Sha Stimuli and Substantial) - This was the second single released from the album and its absolute fire. The beat has a sprinkle of soft piano keys, subdued horns and a haunting vocal sample over boom-bap drums that should get your head nodding like crazy. As expected, all three emcees come in and absolutely murder the beat, kicking rhymes full of architecture metaphors and imagery to describe systems that were created to see the people who use them fail. Natti sets it off lovely as he spits
"The way the bricks are built to move bricks
Hustle up a pristine castle of toothpicks
Fused with the glue of accruing a few whips
Feeling brand new with your crew in some new whips
Living room laid at expense of a few flips
Alphabet soup landscaping with shoe prints"
Another banger.

12) Black Diamonds (featuring Jason Coffey) - The beat on this song has some heavier pianos and soulful backing vocals by Deacon over boom-bap-ish drums. Lyrically Natti is definitely on point here, spitting some thought-provoking and heartfelt rhymes about the pressures of being born with ebony skin, but flips it and points out all the positives that go along with it as well. The lyrics are passionate and the chorus, by Jason Coffey, is uplifting. This shit is fire.

13) Miss America (Skit) - Skit.

14) Allegiance (featuring Cecil Gardner) - Deacon the Villain shares production duties with SunnyStylez on this track and the outcome is really ill. The song has more church organs and hearty choir vocals that compliment the socially conscious rhymes from both Natti and guest Cecil Gardner nicely. Very dope.

15) Underground Railroad (featuring Mino Slick) - The final song on the album has an almost melancholy instrumental with a bluesy guitar, somber pianos and bleak backing vocals. Natti comes through and cleverly uses slavery and the Underground Railroad as a metaphor for underground hip-hop. This shit is ill and is a dope way to close out the album.

I'm going to rate the album

4.5 / 5

because its really, really good. The beats are pretty much fire throughout, with Deacon the Villain stepping out from under the shadow of being the lesser known producer from CunninLynguists and proving that he is an upper-tier producer in his own right. Lyrically Natti is on point for the entire album as well, kicking witty and heartfelt rhymes in his trademark Southern drawl. Given the almost spotless track record of CunninLynguist's prior albums (both group and solo albums), I had very high expectations for this album and Natti actually managed to exceed them. Do yourself a favor and make sure you check out the album when you get a chance. Don't sleep on this shit people.


  1. Word. CL never disappoints, whether it's as a group or in solo efforts.

  2. I agree. I had high expectations because of CunninLynguists prior releases and this was on fire. Each CL release is so different production wise, but still has it's own flavor. definitely gonna be on repeat.

  3. This album will be a instant classic....Great rhymes...Great production...what else could you ask for

  4. Yeah this album is really really great. Don't be one of the many who sleep on this one!

  5. Well written review.
    This album is another pearl in the very consistent and dope discography of Cunninlynguists.