NoFace, Rapper releases the Wintercoat EP as part of his plan to put Virginia hip hop on the map. It’s a respectable goal considering most creatives abandon their city in search of one with more opportunities. That said only time will tell if he sticks it out.
While on the EP’s title track NoFace delivers the lines “Introspective rapper called NoFace can’t be anonymous / releasing music constantly what they saying I need to do” the Wintercoat EP is the only project of his I can find. He does have two or three singles that predate the EP, but not much of a catalog relatively speaking. Which really is quite impressive considering how polished his flow, delivery, and mixing are. He certainly doesn’t sound like someone with 52 Soundcloud followers. Derrick Thomas Jr. handles the project’s production. Pleasingly, however, none of the beats feel redundant or formulaic.
As those who read NB regularly know, what I like to focus on are the lyrics. NoFace provides verses which appeal to my ideal in that they are autobiographical. And he does so with interesting rhyme schemes, forcing words that on paper shouldn’t rhyme but in presentation do. What’s more is that these lyrics have a cohesive thread uniting them, namely that it’s a cold world out there. I did some google searching and found that, while it does snow in Virginia, it’s not the coldest. So I think the talks of cold weather are largely a metaphor aimed at asserting the barren emotional climate of this world.
One of the more potent stories comes on “Cold (Intro)” where NoFace tells of a time he and his grandfather encountered a homeless, fatherless kid. NoFace wants to give him some money, but his grandfather tells him not to bother. Instead, they buy him a meal but, when they try and give it to him, are prevented by a language barrier. In the end, they resort to praying for him. NoFace’s grandfather explains that prayer is sometimes the best way to pay it forward, even if you have to forge a relationship with God to do so.
That said, my favorite track is still “T1ME” perhaps because it’s the one I’ve heard the most. More likely because it acts as an overview of the project as a whole, showcasing all that it has to offer and encapsulating the central cold weather metaphor. All in all, it’s a solid first offering from NoFace, I look forward to seeing what he does next.