Of course, he's underrated. In an era of numbers and illusion-based independence, Bishop Nehru's constant disregard for the philosophy propelling such standards has been his right of passage in the rap game all along. Rather than pandering to the music industry's new rules in a period of hype and interchangeable trends, the New York wunderkid learned early on that it's better to be overlooked than underpaid; a rare ideal when many of today's artists regard fake importance as a currency. So he grinded. Dexterous rhyming and floating nostalgic production became constant weaponry for the 19-year-old hip-hop prodigy, which accompanied by steady hustle, eventually earned him recognition from legends like MF Doom, DJ Premier and Nas.

But for Bishop, the work never stopped at a co-sign. If anything, acknowledgement from the greats only seemed to create further doubt in the minds of the industry hesitant to give him his just dues for irrefutable skills that are notably absent, (especially for fans of New York-based hip-hop.) Although acclaimed, tapes like the collaborative NehruvianDoom album (featuring MF DOOM) and last year's Nehruvia: The Nehruvian EP left more to be expected from the teenage sensation. So when Bishop promised a "true evolution. New flows, new sounds," on his forthcoming mixtape Magic 19, ears were perked. However, the thing with alteration is, change for change sake is no better than stagnancy.

The first minute of Magic 19 is used to abruptly enter into Bishop's new world, a slightly darker and more modern take on his golden age vibe. But as he starts by referencing Bruce Wayne's decision to become Batman while using a clip from Christian Bale's raspy voice via 2005 blockbuster hit Batman Begins, the narrative feels out of place conflicting Bishop's once unapologetic self-awareness and authenticity. Through 11-tracks, it's as though his concern with balancing expectation from industry pressures, his fans and himself takes overs over his music sonically and thematically as he raps bars like "missed off they list like I ain't been lyrical. For half a decade I say they pissed 'cause I'm spiritual," accompanied by more spectral party-centric production. Conformity is the dark emblem hovering over the entire project.

"I assume as you're taking on the underworld that this symbol is a persona to protect those you care about from reprisal," Alfred J. Pennyworth says to Bruce Wayne in a sampled clip used on self-produced tape-opener 'Did I Find It'. The thing with Bishop Nehru however is, when it comes to the rap game and what he's chosen to stand for - a symbol of lyrical competence and a pillar of craft - no one asked him to be anyone but himself. And on Magic 19, that's who's missing.