Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bionik Brown - The Darkness And The Light

Nathan Woods, better known as Bionik Brown, is a rapper who hails from the vicious Third Ward of New Orleans, LA. As a child, he was introduced to the art of music by his poet mother and pianist father. Together, they showed him the true essence of music through a number of different genres. It wasn't until his teenage years where he eventually developed a taste for Hip-Hop and quickly became an aspiring emcee. The Darkness And The Light is his debut album and it was released in 2001 on Renaissance Records. The production is provided by Bass Heavy, U.P. and Brotha Slymm while Dave Soul is credited for implementing the cuts and the scratches. Although Bass Heavy is a veteran producer and he arranges the bulk of the album, the beats as a whole can be summarized as barely respectable. The rhythms are kept simple and are lacking a solid foundation musically. Aside from a couple of tracks, there is really nothing that will catch the listener and keep them hooked. Lyrically the album exceeds expectations and fires on all cylinders. Bionik is an accomplished lyricist and he proves that with his spell binding delivery. His tone is a bit high pitched and it can become a bit jubilant at times. However, the rhymes are still dictated with vocal authority and melodic passion. Great attention is given to word play as well as the overall structure of the song. The subject matter is also very diverse. Bionik lightly touches on social issues, racial tensions, politics and even disputes his own birth. Guest appearances are made by One Eye from the Psycho Ward, Brotha Slymm, Tondrae, Ras, GaBrilla, Asali Devan and Spirit from Soul Remedy. All in all, this is a very solid release especially considering the fact that it is a debut effort. Bionik Brown would soon leave Renaissance Records to pursue better opportunities due to the label not going anywhere, neither financially nor musically. He would also leave the city of New Orleans altogether during the wake of Hurricane Katrina and would establish himself and his family in Denver, Colorado. Bionik Brown died on August 11, 2008, after a car driven by a 17-year-old traveling eastbound veered into the westbound lanes of traffic and hit Bionik's vehicle head on. The teenager was arrested and booked on charges of vehicular man slaughter. Bionik Brown is survived by his wife, Iman Nouis-Woods; his mother and stepfather, Carolyn and Ferdinand Carr; his brother, Joel Woods; and sister, Rachel Woods. Rest in peace to one of Uptown's finest, the iconic, Bionic Brown.

Deadly Verses
The Middle Passage

Album Notes
* Bionik Brown was also a member of Mental Metropolis.
* His trademark is a white towel which he wears around his neck.

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