The Shadow Album: Introducing Nebulent

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The Shadow Album: Introducing Nebulent
The Shadow Album cover.PNG
Studio album by Nyninyne & Nebulent
Released May 13, 2002
Recorded August 2001—February 2002
Genre Hip hop
Length 84:53
Label Music Industry
Producer Dr. Ray (exec.), Nyninyne (exec.), Pilloww, Icecuber2d2, Nebulent (exec.), DanielD
Nyninyne chronology
The Harrison Harolds LP
(2000)
The Shadow Album
(2002)
The Nyninyne Show
(2002)
Nebulent chronology
The Nebulent Mixtape
(2001)
The Shadow Album
(2002)
Mighty
Nebulent

(2003)
Singles from The Shadow Album
  1. "Introducing Nebulent"
    Released: February 1, 2002
  2. "Road to Nowhere"
    Released: March 24, 2002
  3. "Storytime"
    Released: April 30, 2002


The Shadow Album: Introducing Nebulent or simply known as The Shadow Album, is a collaboration album by Nyninyne and Nebulent which was recorded from August 2001 to February 2002 and released on May 13, 2002 as a CD and for digital download. Three singles were released from the album which all preceded the album release. The album was released on Music Industry Records, better known as M.I. Records before 2005. Production mostly came from Nyninyne and Nebulent, but Dr. Ray, Pilloww, Icecuber2d2 and DanielD provided additional production. On the album Nyninyne expands his comedic style while focusing on serious themes and a rhythmic flow. Introducing Terrain grime for the first time, Nebulent incorporates his punchline-lyrics, materialistic flow and emotional context. The Shadow Album is considered one of the most influential and original collaboration rap albums ever, attaining many records and critical acclaim simultaneously. The Shadow Album marks the start of Nebulent's career; where some critics believe that Nebulent was at his strongest. The album Mighty Nebulent (2003) succeeded the next year. Nyninyne and Nebulent didn't collaborate after the album for five years.

The album debuted at number one worldwide; selling 1,014,250 copies in it's first week in the USA, while it sold a similar amount in UnitedTerra. By December 2003 the album was certified 8x Platinum for shipments of over 8 million records. It was the second best-selling album of the year, as Nyninyne's very own The Nyninyne Show was released in the same year. The Shadow Album was nominated for 11 awards and won 7 awards either as "Best Rap Album" or "Best Collaboration Album". Originally a tour was not planned, but after the album's success the two embarked on The Shadow Tour together for two months.

Background[edit]

While in the "M.I. Records" studio, Nebulent noticed that Nyninyne was on the same record label as him. He asked Luther, the manager of M.I. Records, about him and he said that they could even collaborate on an album together, but a week later Luther forgot about the idea. After spending a month on the same tour bus together, Nyninyne and Nebulent became close friends. Nyninyne had heard of Nebulent's music and shared thoughts about a possible collaboration. The two recorded three songs together but were not thinking of releasing them. At this point Nyninyne wasn't the best-selling rapper yet, but his album The Harrison Harolds LP (2000) was signalling his success. The two started getting into the studio more, and eventually settled on releasing a collaboration album. Luther the manager advised them that this wasn't a good idea, but Nyninyne disagreed and said that it was okay as Nyninyne had released a mixtape already. The managers didn't want to spend too money on financing the album, so recording was supplied on a low-budget. The album was announced in January 2002, with the album cover being uploaded to their official websites in February. On March 2, 2002, the tracklist was revealed - showcasing 19 tracks. The tracklist revealed that there were no featured artists on the album. Originally Dr. Ray and Icecuber were expected to record a verse each for a song but they were too busy to write a verse in a short amount of time.

Writing and recording[edit]

At the time Nyninyne was working on his album The Nyninyne Show, which was planned for a late 2002 release. Eventually he decided to postpone work for his album and focused on The Shadow Album. Nyninyne later explained that his album was 70% complete, so it was alright to take a break. Nebulent had previous unused lyrics which he used for some songs, but had to write a lot more. Nyninyne took some lyrics that he had planned to use for The Nyninyne Show and used it for The Shadow Album instead, but he still had to write more lyrics. Recording for the album took place from August 2001 to February 2002; taking six months to completely finish the album. Sessions for The Nyninyne Show began in January 2000 and were postponed in August 2001 (the month recording for The Shadow Album began).

Composition[edit]

All of the tracks are hip hop songs, with essences of Terrain grime. Nyninyne's comedy-rap is present on the album which is showcased in "Nine In Nine", "Whodunit" and "Irritating Pop Song". Comedy elements are present in "The Shadow Song", "This Is Not a Rap", "Agenda 4 Today", "Nyninyne vs. Nebulent" and "Cry Sob Weep", but are not entirely classified as comedy hip hop. "To My Grandfather" and "The Horror" incorporate the introducing of Terrain grime, but switch to hip hop later on in the songs. Originally the album had 14 songs on the album, but as the two got more ideas more songs were made. The album has a very long run-length of 84 minutes, which was very unusual at the time and still is today. The original length varied in 60 minutes. Critics noticed that the album introduced an emotional side of Nyninyne, which wasn't oblivious before. Many thought that Nyninyne wouldn't be introducing any original. After the release critics thought that, despite being the rookie, Nebulent had influenced Nyninyne. The two produced five tracks together. Nebulent produced two by himself and four more with additional production and Nyninyne produced one solely and three more with additional producing. Critics noticed the dark-themed instrumentals used for the album, as the album was called The Shadow Album.

Lyrical themes[edit]

Track listing[edit]

No. TitleProducer(s) Length
1. "The Shadow Song"  Nyninyne 3:52
2. "Introducing Nebulent"  Nebulent, Icecuber2d2 5:16
3. "This Is Not a Rap"  Dr. Ray 4:22
4. "Agenda 4 Today"  DanielD, Nebulent 4:57
5. "To My Grandfather"  Nebulent 4:02
6. "Nyninyne vs. Nebulent"  Nyninyne, Nebulent 5:10
7. "Nine In Nine"  Icecuber2d2 4:44
8. "Cry Sob Weep"  Dr. Ray, Nyninyne 3:25
9. "Featuring... No-One"  Nyninyne, Nebulent 4:06
10. "Straight Face"  Icecuber2d2 3:32
11. "The Horror"  Nyninyne, Nebulent 4:29
12. "Love and Hate"  Nyninyne, Nebulent 5:28
13. "Road to Nowhere"  Nebulent 5:48
14. "Whodunit"  Nyninyne, DanielD 5:19
15. "History Lesson of '99"  Nebulent, Icecuber2d2, Dr. Ray 4:53
16. "That Is Life"  Nebulent, DanielD 4:21
17. "Irritating Pop Song" (skit)Nyninyne, Nebulent, Dr. Ray 3:10
18. "Storytime"  Dr. Ray 5:08
19. "Time's Up"  Dr. Ray 2:51
Total length:
84:53

Notes:

  • All tracks were written by Nyninyne and Nebulent.
  • Skit, in this kind of term, means a humorous/mocking song.

Release and promotion[edit]

Singles[edit]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Influence and legacy[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Certifications[edit]

See also[edit]