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"the nicole lp review"

as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania

Here is the first album from iii - pronounced "three" - which is effectively a concept album about the man named Stan and a girl called Nicole. This was his debut, which dropped in 2006, and was subsequently followed by "Holidays" - a sophomore effort which received a rather average review on this site. Once of the criticisms was that iii is in fact just an average underground cat with average lyrics. Whilst "The Nicole LP" does little to disprove that theory, the good news is that his debut, as is often the case, provides us with a hungry artist with a point to prove.

The album isn't incredibly strong, but remains a testament to consistency, mainly owing to a few clever samples, a smatter of strong melodies and some wickedly named songs. "Love Is Gravity" works very well, and the marvelously titled "I Don't Need A Polygraph Test" is amongst the albums highs, and certainly the opening third of the album is actually surprisingly strong. True, iii's lyrics aren't life changing, his vocal delivery is unremarkable and the subject matter can overwhelm. But the unifying concept - the story of his relationship, chronicled from start to finish - coupled with a few excellent melodies help to at least make this compelling background music.

This is clearly meant to be an abstract mish-mash of various genres and styles, and he frequently slips his grungy hat on when pausing from hip hop, then changes into another totally different vibe. At a guess, his target audience isn't going to be primarily made of intense hip hop heads - rather those that take to different genres of music, flexing their indie/rock muscles in conjunction with music more relevant to this site. A song such as "She Says That I'm Lush" would be well received on most stages, and the intimate comedown of "Your Not There In The Morning" is the one track on the album that I repeated for a day non-stop.

The album isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea, but perhaps that is precisely what iii is going for. Last week I reviewed iii's label-mate Nacirema - who, again, was slightly atypical but dealt in more "traditional" hip hop. Either way, both artists are left-of-centre - and variety is what keeps hip hop alive. A fairly strong debut with a concept followed through meticulously and a couple of highlights - sometimes that is good enough.

Music Vibes: 6.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10

Originally posted: January 29, 2008 - rapreviews.com


holidays, 2006

the nicole lp, 2005

the me ep, 2004

it's just life, re-release 2006

all albums released on 1205 Records, LLC




The most common question asked when discussing the musical alter ego of Stanley W. Chase, III is not necessarily the most obvious. It’s not, “Does he emcee?” Nor is it, “Is he any good?” Oddly enough it’s not, “is he playing a keytar?” And most surprisingly, it’s never, “is he wearing a power glove?” No, the first question and most likely asked is almost always, “how do you pronounce that?” Whether it is “Thr333,” “Thr3,” or finally “iii” it’s all pronounced “three.”

The next question is always “why three?” Coincidentally enough, there are three very good answers.
1. He was born on July 3rd, 1982.
2. He’s the third generation of Stan’s in his family.
3. He’s the third child/son in his family.

Thr333 was slimmed down to Thr3, but later Stan learned “Thr3” was a moniker already in use in the music industry. In keeping with the “3” theme, Stan took the “III” from his name, lowercased it, and continued to dub himself “three,” but spelling it, “iii.”

So, who is iii? He’s a chain-smoking, pizza delivery boy. He’s a beer drinking, karaoke barfly. He’s a man who loves 80’s music & the keytar entirely too much. He’s an asshole? He’s a cynic? No, he’s just picky, he simply doesn’t buy into anything too quick. Musical styles and genres have to earn their respect. He’s a man who’s spent the better part of his adult life battling the metaphorical Star Stealer. He’s a musician who’s studied music all of his life, but chooses not to disclose the institutes, or the rapper’s he’s influenced by... why? With an air of sarcasm he responds, “never let them know what inspires you.” He’s iii, he’s an emcee, and it’s just life. Oh, and for those of you playing along at home… the answer to the first four questions? All a resounding “yes.”