slowthai – “TYRON” review

slowthai is a 26 year old rapper from Northampton, United Kingdom who came onto my radar in 2019 off his debut album Nothing Great About Britain. His profile continued to grow shortly after due to his feature on BROCKHAMPTON’s latest album at the time GINGER but with the 2 year anniversary of his first album coming up in the spring, slowthai has finally delivered his long-awaited sophomore effort.

The album starts with “45 SMOKE”, where slowthai talks about the world being his over an abrasive instrumental. The next song “CANCELLED” with Skepta serves as a well written response to cancel culture over a ghostly beat with some whistling while the track “MAZZA” with A$AP Rocky finds the 2 talking about the meaning of insanity over an off-the-wall trap instrumental. The song “VEX” talks about people irritating him over an energetic instrumental, but the following track “WOT” is so short that there’s no point to it being on here.

The song “DEAD” introspectively dives into the subject of the afterlife over a shadowy beat while the track “PLAY WITH FIRE” talks about feeling like he’s got his head in a blender over a playful instrumental. The song “i tried” opens up about a suicide attempt slowthai once had over an oxymoronic beat while the track “focus” talks about his brothers being in prison over a weary instrumental from Kenny Beats.

The song “terms” talks about how things in life could be worse over some cloud rap production while the track “push” talks about how no one wants to see you grow over a bare piano instrumental. The song “n.h.s. (national health service)” provides reassurance in a post-COVID world over a sparse beat while the penultimate track “feel away” pays tribute to his late brother Michael over a soft instrumental. The album ends with “adhd”, where slowthai talks about how “the passenger always been a witness” over a low trap beat.

Dude might be the best up-&-comer out of the UK right now because I enjoy this album more than I did Nothing Great About Britain. I mean as much as I enjoy slowthai’s previous full-length effort for how gritty & political it sounded, the production on TYRON is cleaner & the lyrics are more personal this time around.

Score: 4/5

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