Crop Circle

Crop Circle

A series of mixtapes documenting life on the hardest streets of North West London led rapper Nines to a deal with XL Recordings and a full debut—2017’s One Foot Out—that struck commercial pay dirt. This follow-up is a thoughtful, capricious study of a man juggling that success with loyalties to his past. Working a novelist’s sense for small but effective details around spare, hypnotic beats, Nines is full of triumphalism on “Oh My” and “Haze.” However, he’s most engaging during his reflective moments, wrestling with the pull of the streets on “Pictures in a Frame” and offering a stark portrait of prison time on “Cash Interlude.”

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