Andre Nickatina & Equipto – ‘Comb My Hair Like’ from ‘Bullet Symphony: Horns & Halos 3’
If the silky smooth, super swift stylings of Suga Free are a hyper-realistic version of Michael Campus’s masterful Oakland-set The Mack, then the cocaine-fuelled pimp raps of Fillmoe’s finest Andre Nickatina, formerly Dre Dog, evoke that same era-inspiring film – but under the directorship of Kool G Rap, executive production tip going to his close friend Mac Dre (TIP) and filtered through a distinctly Frisco-flavoured lens.
Andre Nickatina & Equipto – ‘Y-U-Smilin’ from ‘Bullet Symphony: Horns & Halos 3’
King Nicky’s rhymes are consistently potent pimp statements of mind manipulation, fine clothing and, invariably, some kind of seafood with pasta and a side order of garlic bread. Names like Nick Peace and Freddy Machete are often found behind the boards, as is the man himself and super slept-on Bay Area beatmaker and rapper Equipto – who he linked up with on ‘Midnight Machine Gun Rhymes & Alibis’ in 2002.
Andre Nickatina & Equipto – Jungle from ‘Midnight Machine Gun Rhymes & Alibis’[audio:Jungle.mp3|titles=Jungle|artists=Andre Nickatina and Equipto]
More recently the pair dropped their collaborative three-part Horns & Halos series, which captured the sound of the world of female exploitation with a smooth, synthy sound, and at times bumped more abrasively, a perhaps incidental depiction of life under the street lights.
Andre Nickatina & Equipto – ‘Tell Dat To Dummies’ from ‘Gun-Mouth 4 Hire: Horns & Halos 2’[audio:Tell_Dat_To_Dummies.mp3|titles=Tell Dat To Dummies|artists=Andre Nickatina and Equipto]
Cut through with Dre’s inimitable swagger and infectious, unremitting one-liners, and alongside Japanese-Columbian and jazz enthusiast EQ’s smoother, weed smoke-infused patter, the albums are interspliced with classic mack movie snippets and are all severely overlooked gems well worth exploring.
Here are another couple of highlights from Dre’s career, with a rare vintage Quip track thrown in for good measure:
Andre Nickatina ft. Dubee – ‘Fly Like A Bird’ from ‘Conversation With A Devil’
Andre Nickatina – Leopard from ‘Fillmoe Coleman Presents The Gift Movie Soundtrack’[audio:leopard.mp3|titles=Leopard|artists=Andre Nickatina]
Equipto – Like There’s No Tomorrow from collector’s item (check the price!) ‘Like There’s No Tomorrow’