SCALPER: Flesh & Bones
By Kate Foster
Nadeem Shafi is Scalper, a dark and thoughtful commentator weaving his insights through desolate and paranoia inducing beats. Originally from East London and now residing in the rugged west coast area of Auckland, Scalper has been at the hip hop game since 1997, demonstrating his skills with British band Fun-da-mental and more recently, in support of the mighty King Kapisi on the Hip Hop Lives Here tour around NZ. ‘Flesh & Bones’ is a mesmerising debut comprised of inspired instruments and samples to provide a warm mix of Eastern chants and gentle, heavy-lidded riffs. Percussive rolls and flourishes wash over the senses to deepen the hypnotic swirls created by Scalper’s urging delivery of verses. Although this album would easily delight the ears of trip hop, dub and dub step fans alike, make no mistake this is hip hop at its darkest and most self-evaluating. Having created all the beats and soundscape backdrop himself (with a little help from friends) Scalper has free reign to paint his impressions of authority, power, life and lessons over their undulating surfaces. Sinister and at times cryptic but always compelling, ‘Flesh & Bones’ is, as one of the track names suggests, Necessary Evil.