Potential, many emcees contain it, but few ever capitalize on it. Through the windows of time we have witnessed numerous artists filled with potential of greatness but were never able to translate such a talent into a successful album or career. Sometimes visions of greatness end up with a shattered reality of failure. Canibus knows about it, Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz experienced it, and unfortunately now Nature has experienced the same.
Most artists in the Hip-Hop game would have killed for the opportunities Nature was blessed with early in this career. Nature's journey through Hip-Hop all started with the supposed mega team of Nas Escobar, Foxy Brown & Az, a.k.a. The Firm. However, as we all know, the album was a huge failure and never lived up to expectations. Even though the album was a flop, Nature did turn some heads with the standout joint "I'm Leaving" featuring Noreaga, which was one of the albums few highlights. From there, we all expected big things from Nature. At the time he was affiliated with one of the biggest rap artists in the game, Nas, and was involved with the then "big thing" of producers The Trackmasters. Unfortunately, all expectations of greatness failed. Nature's up and coming album "For All Seasons" was heavily bootlegged and delayed over a years time, and by the time it was released all the hype Nature built up was gone. After "For All Seasons," Nature disappeared into the depths of Hip-Hop's unknown. Numerous freestyles and guest appearances, along with a heated rivalry with Nas, kept Nature in the spotlight long enough to build up anticipation for his new release "Wild Gremlinz".
Hype and all, nobody could envision Nature's project turning out like this. To put it mildly, "Wild Gremlinz" is a disaster! If it weren't for Canibus' disgrace of an album "C:True Hollywood Stories," "Wild Gremlinz" would be without a doubt one of the worst albums to be released by a respectable artist in the history of the game. After hearing the blazing "Nas Is Not", one would think Nature would be as hungry as ever and ready to take back his place in the industry. However, what we get from Nature on his latest installment is the complete opposite of what we all expected and what Nature is capable of doing.
As word got out to the streets about "Wild Gremlinz", rumors started to spill about Nature hooking up with the industry's elite producers for the album such as DJ Premier, Pete Rock & Ez Elpee. These rumors were nothing more than that as the production on "Wild Gremlinz" is indeed its main cause for downfall. With almost all the production handled by the unknown newcomer Chin, the beats on "Wild Gremlinz" are beyond the realm of horrible. Words to describe the production on the album are hard to come by, as the only terms that come to mind are disgraceful, lurid and repulsive. Tracks like the wannabe player anthem of "Love That Hoe" featuring Bars & Young Katz, the horrendous group effort of "Wild Gremlinz", "Coming Home With Me" featuring Killz and even the Megahertz produced "What Cha Know" are all prime examples of production being so bad each track is unbearable. Not to mention Nature's Wild Gremlinz crew, who are some of the worst emcees heard in recent memory as evident by wack lines like the ones spit on "Love That Hoe", "I licked her ass and all that, it ain't no game, I make these hoe's say my name".
Besides the production, Nature's direction throughout "Wild Gremlinz" is just as bad. Instead of that grimy Q.B. sound combined with Nat's sick flow and lyrics, Nature tries to put together a "Jiggy" album full of played out pimp anthems and radio friendly songs. Which is ironic in itself considering on the "intro" Nature firmly states "This ain't that cornball shit, this ain't that radio shit, this is that street corner hip hop". Seems as if Nature didn't listen to his own album closely since "Wild Gremlinz" is the exact opposite of what he's proclaiming.
As noted, "Jiggy", player type anthems consume most of the better portion of the album, the worst of these coming from the horrendous, train wreck of a song "So Fresh". The track try's to mirror a West Coast bounce track of sort but only falls short in every aspect imaginable. Saying this is the worst Nature song ever is definitely an understatement as the Now and Laterz produced track is so bad even Snoop wouldn't rock over it. More joints that will make you wanna throw your CD out the window include the generic rhetoric of "I Don't Give A Fuck", "Life & Death", the blunted tales of "Supa High", "That Ride" and "Gully" which is anything but what the title presumes.
While this review may come off as harsh, "Wild Gremlinz" is indeed that bad. It's amazing that Nature would even release such an album considering it is released independently and most of his album sales will come from his diehard fans that expected the total opposite out of this release. Things are so bad for Nature on this album that only 2 joints out of the total 14 are even bearable. "The Wake Up" and "Disturbin The Peace" are the only two songs that are reminiscent of Nature's previous work. "Disturbin The Peace" is the only true highlight of the album thanks to Nature's storytelling ability and sick flow featured throughout the song. The track is definitely one of Nat's best work as he rips the track vividly depicting the life of a hustler from day one. Even the production, which was handled by J Garfield, was on point and is the only production on the whole album that resembles the Q.B./Nature mold. Why Nature didn't put forth an effort like this for the entire album is a mystery to everyone.
Witnessing what has taken place on "Wild Gremlinz" is nothing short of a tragedy. With so much talent and potential, Nature is yet another victim of a great lyricist who cannot translate their talent into making good records. While "Wild Gremlinz" won't shatter Nature's career since the independently released album won't gain much media attention, it will strike a sour note into diehard Nature fans everywhere. Let's hope Nature learns from this release and gathers a better arsenal of producers, drops his crew the Wild Gremlinz and sticks to what he does best for his next album. Some artists will never be the huge commercial/crossover hits they so long to become. Nature is indeed one of these artists and has to realize this. He is never going to be able to put out huge hits like Jay-z or gain mass appeal like Nas. Nature has to stick with what he knows and what he does best and cannot be concerned with TRYING to become someone else. Hopefully the future holds a brighter outcome for Nature and maybe one day he'll be able to fulfill the potential that has eluded him for so long.