Anyways isn’t one of those projects that leaves the featured artists unlisted in order to preserve an element of surprise. Young Nudy flies solo for 16 tracks – for 58 minutes. He is a self-sustaining ecosystem. If you peruse his discography, you will see that Nudy often opts to take matters into his own hands. An internal furnace supplies him with enough steam to send him bouncing off the walls until the beat stops playing. He can play this game for the duration of a full LP without tiring and we can observe without losing any interest.
The lead single for Anyways, “No Go,” showed Nudy spinning himself into a frenzy. It’s almost a disorienting experience. The sense that he’s outpacing his listeners, or his opponents, doesn’t just stem from his sputtering delivery. His masterful use of ad-libs generates the illusion that he’s attacking from all angles. He forms a one-man choir – repeating words, offering responses, erupting with cartoonish noises. These sorts of echoes are by no means unique to Nudy. We know they’re pervasive in the Atlanta trap scene, but Nudy’s aren’t neatly placed. On “Deeper Than Rap,” his raps and his ad-libs border on discordant. They clash awkwardly, but in Nudy’s case, that’s where the magic lies. When he interrupts himself and creates these explosive layers of sound, the intoxicating mania of his music is heightened. “Deeper Than Rap” is Nudy unfastening himself from the beat and fleeing anything that tries to contain him.
While these conversations with himself are what make it seem like he’s endlessly feeding off his own energy, the moments when he derives inspiration from external sources shouldn’t be overlooked. Nudy’s exhilarating when unhinged, but his eccentric beat selection tends to pull him into new territory. 20Rocket – who has production credits on six of Anyways’ tracks – furnishes Nudy with the tinny tip-toeing of “No Comprende.” It impels Nudy to tackle it with a more restrained and choppy flow, which offers a welcome reprieve from the breathless vortexes that consume much of the project. He also remains tethered to the instrumental on “I Won’t Flex,” where he wheezes his bars to mimic the flashes of a synth.
When he isn’t tailoring his delivery to the beat, his vocals can reflect his intended message. “A Nudy Story” is when the rapper sheds all the boasts and the threats to finally provide some background on what hardened him. Amidst divulging of family drama and other trauma, he croons on the hook in a cadence that evokes both resignation and hope. “Burnin’ demon in a Demon, I ain’t say that I was perfect / God done blessed me with this money, I guess He feel like I was worth it.” “A Nudy Story” is the only digression from his usual themes. Even on the closing track “Do It With The…”, whose wistful atmosphere sounds conducive to an introspective journey, Nudy resorts to discussing money and murder.
Considering how long Nudy has been a respected figure in Atlanta’s underground, every new release from him begs the question of whether he is on the verge of a breakout. Slim’erre, the collaborative project he put out with Pi’erre Bourne last year definitely brought more attention his way, boosted by high-profile guests and Pi’erre’s affiliation with Playboi Carti. However, there’s no need for us to speculate about potential hits on Anyways when that doesn’t even seem to be Nudy’s main concern. He’s still entrenched in the streets. If there’s any overarching takeaway from Anyways, it’s that Nudy’s bullshit detector is infallible. As he bellows on “No Comprende,” “I could smell it from a mile away, you work with them cops.” If Young Nudy continues to keep it real and keep the right people around him, he’ll be just fine.