Listening to Bolo Nef’s new Sol Invictus reminded me of taking one of those long, solo road trips. When the fatigue of navigating an endless stretch of highway in the dark gives way to your brain wandering off to those shadowy, Cimmerian mind states. When you find yourself contemplating the implications of, say, absolute nothingness, and all that stares back at you from the road is the yawning, silent void.
Bolo’s team of creative minions, Underworld Dust Funk (or UDF), specializes in this type of isolationist theory. Theirs is the chant of the alienated and nihilistic; the ethos of the creatures that live and move in the shadows — literally and figuratively — of Seattle’s sunnier hip hop side.
Bolo took me to task on Twitter the other day for reaching snap judgements of his UDF counterpart Caz Greez’s album Misfit. I called that record “cloud trap, promethazine slumber rap”. Fair enough, Bolo. Misfit is definitely more than that. I would contend, however, that Sol Invictus does a superior job of conveying UDF’s prime philosophies. Maybe that’s due to Bolo’s turnt down lyrical style — Caz’s three appearances lend a welcome dose of animation to SI.
Yes, Bolo documents Percocet and pill popping here also, but it scans heavily as self-medication rather than recreational use. Sol Invictus slumbers, half-sober, amid the sounds of a mother’s cries, muted sirens and the waning ping of a heart monitor. While some other ma’fuckas do it to death on world tours, UDF has enough issues just avoiding death around the next corner. It’s probably time to wake up to Bolo’s un-merry crew of illicit prescription revelers. The problem is, sometimes waking up is the scariest part.