IMAKEMADBEATS, also known as Nemo, is a producer based out of Brooklyn. He previously released a full-length with Roc C and worked with artists such as Rah Digga. This album marks his solo debut.

My first complaint here is his moniker. While I Make Mad Beats would be a good title of a producer’s solo debut, it’s incredibly awkward as an artist’s name. There are a few skits on the album that play with his name, but I find the skits confusing and they disrupt the flow of the album.

Now that I got that out of my system, let’s discuss the music. A solo album from a producer can go a number of directions, and IMAKEMADBEATS chose to fill his album with guest artists. This can be tricky, and this album is no exception. While there are not really any musical missteps on the record, it fluctuates with the quality of emcees. Most of the emcees on the album aren’t that well known, although we do get verses from Von Pea, Black Milk, and Planet Asia. And while I felt like Black Milk grew a lot as an artist on Album of the Year, his verses on this record are fairly disappointing. The way this album flows, one emcee will get going, I’ll start to feel it, and then another will jump in with something trite and regressive and ruin it.

As a producer, IMAKEMADBEATS is certainly talented, crafting beats that recall J Dilla or Black Milk, with some good soul samples and crisp, mid-tempo drum work. While I enjoy all of the beats on this record, I can’t really say that any of them stand out. There are no killer hooks, no creative riffs, nothing that makes me stop what I’m doing. This normally wouldn’t be quite the issue I’m making it out to be if it wasn’t that this album suffers from a lacking emcee presence and the chosen moniker that Nemo is using.

One of the worst feelings to have while reviewing an album is hearing the promise of what an album could have been in the midst of listening to the actual product. IMAKEMADBEATS could have made a strong solo debut if he pushed himself to strive for great beats instead of settling for good ones, and to not let just anybody drop whatever rhymes they had over his music. If you’ve got amazing beats and a poor emcees, you’ll never make a great record. When I’ve got decent beats and low-quality rhymes, I’m left frustrated.