Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and rapper Namir Blade drops new single “Mephisto,” out now. Highlighted by rays of warm gospel and soul, “Mephisto” is a rally song packed full of quotables. The new single is the second release from Namir’s highly-anticipated album Metropolis due out June 3rd on Mello Music Group.
Namir Blade is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and rapper from Nashville, Tennessee. Like his greatest musical inspiration, Sun Ra, he continually meditates on the future of music and the future of Black people, his catalog an Afro-futurist and surrealist collage informed by decades of absorbing cyberpunk anime, dystopian science fiction, Hype Williams videos, and everything from hip-hop and J-pop to house and hardcore punk. Namir has worked across genres during his career, but he’s spent his years with Mello Music Group expanding the sonic reaches of his singular and idiosyncratic blend of hip-hop and anime and film scores. Critical acclaim has followed him with praise from NPR, Bandcamp Daily, Consequence, and more. Most notable, his L’Orange-produced album Imaginary Everything was hailed Nashville Scene’s Top 10 Local Albums of 2021.
“Mephisto” is the second release from Namir’s upcoming album, following Ride which premiered on The FADER and was featured by Ebro Darden on Discovered on Apple Music. “Mephisto” is inspired by German folklore Mephistopheles. Namir Blade explains, “Mephisto serves as a debt collector for people who sell their souls to Lucifer. He doesn’t really relish in his work at all, claiming that he only appears to those who are already corrupted. The exchange of virtues in order to gain influence, wealth, or material things isn’t something foreign to the entertainment industry at all.”
The inspiration and name for the album comes from 1927 silent film Metropolis as well as the 2002 anime version. Namir explains, “Despite it being a silent film, I felt like it was able to provide an in-depth look at the ramifications of technologic and perceived infrastructural advancements on urban society at large.” He continues, “I discovered themes of classism, civil unrest, and an overall uncertainty in a bright future. These are all themes that I identified with as a black man living in the United States.”
Namir recorded, produced and mixed the album all from his living room, making it his first completely self-produced project. Metropolis brings out a new level of vulnerability in Namir’s songwriting as he deals with themes of loneliness, assimilation, self doubt, joy, suffering, social decay, and vanity in an ever-changing world where technology reigns supreme. Namir states, “It’s vulnerable, it’s uncomfortable at times, it’s flagrant, it’s aggressive—Most importantly it’s me.” With Metropolis, his third project on Mello Music Group, Namir Blade finds the perfect balance between his previous releases Aphelion’s Traveling Circus and Imaginary Everything.
With his new album Metropolis, Namir Blade reaches a defining moment in his career. In addition to showcasing his talent for rapping, the album is a testament to how far Namir has come as a beat maker and a producer. Metropolis is due out June 3rd on Mello Music Group. His new single “Mephisto” is out now.