Bemz, Big Bemz, Bemzy, Jubemi. Whatever you wanna call him, first and foremost this is Nova’s Dad.

Set loose on April 5th, Nova’s Dad is third EP release from Ayrshire MC Bemz and is perhaps his most personal heartfelt moment yet. Stripping back his vulnerability in a light not explored as deep before, Nova’s Dad takes the listener on a 22 minute confessional of somebody seeking both redemption and acceptance for their mistakes.

Growing up in a predominantly white working class seaside town of Stranraer, it may seem unlikely that Jubemi would go on to become one of Scotland’s most adored MC’s of the decade so far. Having worked with the likes of The Snuts, Washington, and Kobi Onyame, this Ayrshire boy is quite frankly unstoppable. Just last year he swooped BBC Scotland’s prestigious Introducing Act of Year award, performed at Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival and headlined the infamous King Tuts stage. Due to take on the city’s SWG3 Warehouse next week, Bemz is ready to take it to the next level.

Nova’s Dad strikes as a concept EP. Using the basis of an answering machine to build intrigue, Intro opens with a dialling ringtone followed by personal message of encouragement. The first full track Snowfall (featuring fellow Ayrshire rapper Washington) sets the pace for the first half of the EP. Bemz is brilliant in his craft and always comes across so naturally at ease in his delivery. With Washington’s edgier depth the song really comes to life. We Move and Sweetest Girl are where the emotional connection really begins to build and strips back yet another layer of vulnerability from Bemz. The flow is strong and both tracks highlight the endurance and strong writing talent on offer here. Tightly tying into the wider album concept, We Move ends with a touching voice note that naturally flows into Sweetest Girl.

One of the strongest offerings from Nova’s Dad is the tenacious Raging Bull. Released as a single at the end of 2022, Raging Bull is a sinister interplay with rising Edinburgh hip hop artist Sean Focus. It demonstrates the incredible versatility of the two artists who ignite one with their ominous harmonies. Zidane – which went onto get its own remix EP release last year – had also made it on to Nova’s Dad. Keeping it simple, Zidane is just a great feel good dance floor filler that reflects Bemz cheeky big personality

But it’s Little Lady that steals the show for me. Teaming up with hip hop artist and producer Kobi Onyame, Bemz lays his heart on his sleeve in this emotional tribute to his own little lady. It’s hard not to get sucked in by the songs vulnerability here. Bemz subdued passion with the addition of Onyame’s catchy melodic chorus hook is beautiful. As a duet the two melt together to deliver one of the best pieces of music I’ve heard this year. If played into the right ears, the potential of this song is just huge.

Despite only being a mere 22 minutes long, Nova’s Dad packs heartfelt energy that many would struggle to do with double that time. The final song P2TL brings optimistic closure to what has been a beautiful Scottish hip hop journey. This is a new beginning for our Ayrshire boy and I can’t wait to see where it leads to.

Words by Anne Kelly