Mother Nature remind the world of their poetic prowess on their latest mixtape Nature’s World. The pair, consisting of emcees Klevah and TRUTH, started making music together during their college days in 2015 before moving to Chicago a year later. In addition to making a lasting impression in the city’s music scene, they also run The Miseducation of HipHop, a nonprofit youth-centered organization that uses hip-hop as a healing device.
Nature can also be profoundly healing, with the allure of the group lying in a sincere love of their physical surroundings. Created along with veteran producer and beatmaker Renzell, Mother Nature’s latest project is a pure celebration of the divine. Opening track “Don’t Worry” displays how each emcee has no problem rapturously going bar for bar with the other.
Klevah proudly boasts innate sex appeal (“Sittin’ pretty, love my tig ol‘ bitties, told him pet the kitty til’ it purr / He don’t listen, make him pay attention, paint a picture, he ain’t said a word”), while TRUTH is feeling herself in a different way (“I’m focus on flourishing / Finally flowing, left follows behind / I got it now”). Aside from its hypnotic beat, “Don’t Worry” also graciously gives listeners the first taste of each emcee’s individual style—and it’s wholly enchanting.
The floating neo-soul soundscapes on “Midnight Garden,” along with an appearance from Mother Wata, make for an obscenely salacious ode. The plainly stated hook (“Floating patient / Thinking of you / Wanna hold you in my / Midnight garden”) is more an act of a yearning than singing; each word is enunciated with the utmost urgency. The mixtape’s ethereal feel is intentional; “Travelerz” ends its elegiac homage to the world around us with the sound of crashing waves.
Ultimately, the softness of the project culminates in the reflective “Sequoia Trees,” where both artists experiment with the cadence and tone of their flows. Though the project is well-paced and tracks easily flow into each other, there are missed opportunities to make each song stand on its own. Klevah and TRUTH are gifted lyricists, and while their chemistry is undeniable, they deserve songs with instrumentation as boisterous and charismatic as they are.
Regardless of this fact, Nature’s World shows off what Mother Nature do best: make music from the soul.
Candace McDuffie is a Senior Writer at The Root. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, MTV, SPIN and Entertainment Weekly. You can follow her on Instagram @candace.mcduffie.