With her official debut LPThe Almanac, artist and activist Neru Thee Fourth Fugeemade one of the most adventurous releases of 2020. The rapper, producer and singer from Baltimore switches casually between content and atmosphere, instinctively combining styles such as neo-soul, psychedelia, boom bap, trap funk and ambient.
Contrary to popular belief, her moniker wasn’t derived from iconic 90s trio The Fugees, but from a lyric by Ab-Soul. Like the aforementioned, Neru reconfigures the past and the present within her own singular vision: The Almanac is as much indebted to Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator as the psychedelic whims of Parliament Funkadelic.
On her new track “Mask On”, Neru abandons some of the freeform experimentations of the past to deliver a monochrome, haunting beat that homes in on her infectious talents as a rapper. Dabbling as much into fashion as music, the song is accompanied by gritty street smart attires. “Mask On” offers the first glimpse of Neru’s new album project, which promises a more incisive and grounded aesthetic.
“With this project it’s still gonna be Neru”, she says in the press release. “But I’m giving a little bit more of what people wanna hear nowadays, you know what I mean? But I’m still staying true to myself. You still gonna get the psychedelic feels, and the crazy dope vocal harmonies as well, but I definitely wanna hit people with the punchline.”