It’s been a week since Charlotte-based artist NIKOWOODYEAR released his third LP, titled Project Neon*. After a week of listening to the project nonstop, I’ve come to two conclusions: Project Neon* is already cemented as one of my favorite albums of 2024 and NIKOWOODYEAR is going to blow up this year. 

Throughout the 15 track album, the 22-year old artist showcases his diversity, seamlessly flowing on a plethora of different production styles, from heavy Yeat type beats to slower, vibey plugnb type beats resembling Big Baby Gucci, to electronic Jersey club beats. 

Out of the 15 tracks on the album, I have 9 added to my most recent playlist, which is a much higher ratio than most albums I come across. Some of my favorites include ‘Us .!’, ‘Titanic .!’, ‘30M .!’, ‘See You Soon Interlude .!’, and ‘Basics .!’. All of these songs are quite different from each other in terms of production and vibe, but NIKOWOODYEAR flows effortlessly on all of them.

Now, I don’t normally dabble in gambling, but if I had to bet on NIKOWOODYEAR’s success this year, I’m going all in. His sound remains fresh in the underground hip hop scene, while sounding reminiscent of other popular underground and mainstream rappers. If you haven’t heard of him yet, catch up before you see him everywhere.