If you bottled up Smino’s energy, Mac Miller’s laid-back swagger and the smooth rhythms of Kaytranada, you’d only scratch the surface of what Noetic has to offer. Named for a word of the day from 2012, Noetic released his debut mixtape, Split Decision on December 15. Featuring up-and-comers like Schama Noel and Sierra Sellers, Noetic also pairs with Midwest talents Lili K, Jean Deaux and Elhae to round out a delightfully engaging tape.
Spanning 16 tracks, Split Decision adds to the Midwest’s ever-growing library of high-quality productions. Noetic, who cites Chance the Rapper as an inspiration in an interview with Hangtime Magazine, deftly channels a similar frivolity from the jump on “Better Late” (featuring Lili K). “It’s like, the goal is like this, I’m gonna blow like Dyn-o-Mite/ it’s local to global, I flow colder than rhinovirus,” Noetic raps on the intro track, jampacking his bars with more syllables than seemingly possible. However, he raps with expert precision, slowing his cadence to a drawl when necessary or bouncing to a faster pace, cruising through line after line.
Having a hand in production adds to Noetic’s tailor made approach to his cuts. “Weed Clouds” melds in a murky flip of Ellie Goulding’s “Don’t Say a Word,” building up the track’s hazy ambiance and Noetic’s relationship with sobriety.
Despite being his first full length project, Noetic spares no expense at drawing listeners in with his bare-all approach to his tunes. From the regretful recollections on “Weed Clouds” Noetic transitions into a nostalgic, g-funk styled cut about his childhood. He spits, “Traded my small days for hard work and heartbreak and hard earned, everything comes the hard way,” on “Back There” adding to the forward-moving mindset Noetic employs across the tape.
Amidst the cleanly structured bars, Noetic also injects songs with his swagger mid-verse. After spitting “Ya parents bought you a deal, you got young money with old money,” on “Be Alright,” Noetic breaks for a moment of clarity. “Hold on. Alright, that line isn’t about anybody, ok? It’s clever, so, chill.” Pausing, as he also does on “One of Those Days” serves to build Noetic’s character without hampering his tape with skits and sketches that bisect the music.
With tracks like “Nice Watch Don’t” speaking to the perils of consumerism or the outro (featuring Aaron James and Sierra Sellers) thanking everyone for “putting up with my shit,” Noetic delivers a tape with a little something for everyone. As he confesses on “Thank You” Noetic is trying to find the balance between rich and famous. With his stayed perseverance and maybe a dash of luck, Split Decision is sure to be the foundation that launches his career.
Split Decision is available to stream on SoundCloud.