You may not recognize the name, but if you’ve interacted with Triangle hip-hop at all during the last several years, you likely know Napoleon Wright II’s work. His production, singing and directing have established him as one of the area’s most abundantly creative people. Only a month ago, he issued the six-song EP GIVENTAKE, produced with collaborator Jared Wofford under the name ART NAP. Already, he’s returned with a new instrumental LP, dichotomy, a whirlwind of a record that reinforces his productive reputation.
On dichotomy, Wright trades the upbeat, multi-instrumental production of GIVENTAKE for a sound that is stripped-down, focused and often meditative. For the most part, dichotomy isn’t poppy or party-friendly. Rather, it’s an experiment in loops and samples, and even without words, it’s decidedly more hip-hop-inspired than the music of ART NAP.
The 20-track project is more ambitious and measured than a mere beat tape, too. The album spans a full range of tones and sounds during its 47 minutes, diving back and forth between moments of mellow introspection and scattered frenzy. Some introduce only a snippet or glimmer of a motif before advancing to the next one.