In interviews, Connaisseur Ticaso, Nicholas Craven and Mike Shabb have all spoken to me about the influence of the Griselda collective on their current sound, a reinterpretation of the 1990s boom-bap that is characterized by beats built from samplings (sampling) punctuated by powerful percussion.

A recent trend, however, sees the latter disappearing or being reduced to a minimum, a genre logically called drumless. The cadence of the voice and the samples then become the pillars of the piece.

Today’s hip-hop lesson is also a preamble to introduce Estee Nack, one of the best rappers in this almost acapella style. Prolific, he has been releasing more than one album a year for about five years.

Nacksaw Jim Duggan, however, is his first under the Griselda label. Westside Gunn, co-founder of it, hasn’t hung up his mic yet, but now considers himself more of a “curator.” Like an artistic director, he supervises, among other things, the choice of beats, collaborators and visuals. The albums Pray for Haiti, by Mach-Hommy, and Kiss the Ring, by Rome Streetz, are among his most accomplished works.

Like these, Nacksaw is highly cohesive and shines the unique characteristics of its lead artist. In Estee Nack’s case, it’s an authoritative flow, singular energy, and authentic storytelling. The Lynn, Massachusetts MC paints images that are both vivid and raw. Of Dominican origin, he sprinkles his texts with Spanish.

The music is mainly provided by Griselda’s production team, namely Conductor Williams, Camoflauge Monk and Denny Laflare, then Crucial The Guillotine. Quebecer Rami Bizzle, from the excellent Planet Giza trio, also composed the SpaceX track, one of the most successful of the 14.

At a time when many rap albums are barely a dozen songs long, we find Nacksaw stretching a bit. BRAP, Estee Nack’s prequel produced by V Don—one of our favorites—was limited to 11 and is superior.

This type of rap is definitely not for everyone. The beats may lack rhythm for some, while the rhymes may seem scattered. As far as we are concerned, it is the feeling of freedom combined with the attention to detail that charms us. Nacksaw is not a masterpiece, but is one of a kind.