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51PWOYTcrBL. SL500 AA280 Not pure hip-hop, nor rap-rock, but a musical cornucopia of the aforementioned along with elements of funk and radio-friendly pop hooks, the self-titled debut EP from New York rapper NOTAR is the first indication that what we’re hearing isn’t just another EP, but the groundwork for what just may become one of the biggest cross-over success stories of 2011…

A preemtive strike before the February ’11 release of his full-length DEVILS PLAYGROUND, NOTAR is 20 minutes of musical fury, delivered with hunger and fight.

Opening with “Matador,” a rocker that falls into an impressive lyrical flow just past the halfway mark, the song serves as perfect introduction. On “Reach,” DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL mainman Chris Carrabba drops in to provide the intro and the hook, bringing the “emo” vibe into the mix much like B.O.B’s collabo with Paramore’s Haley Williams.

“Stranger” brings in COUNTING CROWS frontman Adam Duritz (owner of Tyrannosaurus Records, to which NOTAR is signed) for the chorus breaks, adding his unmistakable voice to a song that will appeal to fans of hip-hop that appreciate the live instrumentation of groups like THE ROOTS.

Closing it out with the much harder “Alcoholic” and “Whatever You Need” (the most straight-forward hip-hop cut on the record), NOTAR leaves you hanging and disappointed… that it’s not a full album.


Rating: 4.5/5

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