Los Angeles-based lo-fi songstress Nite Jewel has been recording ambient DIY dance pop with a heavy '80s influence for the past few years. Her early music was all seams and rough edges; her more recent output still emphasizes gauzy atmosphere with a cleaner sound. But no one would confuse it for hip-hop.
Luckily, Droop-E—son of rap legend E-40, a frequent E-40 producer, and a rapper in his own right—had the vision to blend their worlds and the skill to execute it successfully. "N the Traffic" seems inspired by Nite Jewel's atmospheric approach, and Droop-E's beat adapts it to the rubbery timbres and 808s of his own comfort zone. He also invites longtime underrated West Oakland rapper J-Stalin, a cocky regional hero behind anthems like "Paint the Town" and "Try Again Tomorrow," to join in.