Nightmares in America by Ryan Carter is a hilarious album which analyses problems facing contemporary America. Ryan Carter makes reference to everything from Barney the Dinosaur to Martin Luther King Jr. to Trump and Obama.
In the song “Doo-Doo Everywhere” he makes an excellent comparison and draws parallels between diarrhea and Republicans, as well as between the inability for the Senate to function in a conscionable way in society and his “doo, doo”. Aside from the comedic aspect of this song, and the absolutely squeamish descriptions of fesses, Carter points to, what he believes to be, the heart of what’s corrupting America. This ability to incorporate a political lens into his comedic style is commendable.
Throughout the album, there is a distinctly, homemade feel between the sound bites, the backdrop of manufactured beats, as well as the almost tinny sound which accompanies Carter’s vocals. His voice is raw and unrefined, which lends itself to the comedic atmosphere of his album. Carter’s style has been described as “Suga Free meets Mickey Avalon, with a hilarious dash of Lil’ B; [a style] he [makes] uniquely his own, smooth, suave and debonair to be certain.”
Carter deviates from the rapping norm of supreme seriousness and street cred. “Got No Kids” uses lots of colloquialisms like the rest of the album, but relies heavily on repetition to drive home his point which becomes, as one might expect, repetitious; especially when compounded with the use of echo. This undermines the beat, but I particularly enjoy this song for its use of irony. Carter sings, “haters, none of y’all are on my radar.” I find it clever to give a shout out to his haters in this song, while claiming them to be off his radar. The use of comedy, irony, hyperbole is a refreshing way to tackle complicated issues through this genre.
The song “Hotpants & Transplants” points to the superficiality of society, Carter also stripes the ridiculousness of sexual desire to its core. I found myself laughing out loud when he sings “with my fist up your butt” Initially these statements repulsed me, but as I paid attention to the lyrics, the descriptions of sexual desire became more and more extravagant. They reached a hilarious climax and I could not help but reflect on how absurd sex can be.
Carter is truly talented and his music allows the listener to have as much fun hearing the album as Carter clearly had making it.