The year has seen a few interesting music projects and some that we could’ve done without. Phumlani S Langa gives two fairly new releases a spin.
Tini’s Sound Mind could be more memorable
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This guy has had a decent-looking year with highlights such as collaborating with Stogie T and Styles P to make Get Money, which the charts and the streets warmed to quickly. His latest five-track project, Sound Mind, begins with the ferocious DOA, featuring the enchanting Lisa, who gracefully handles the hook. Kid Tini rides the slow churning beat with his twangy voice and words spilling out with conviction. Artists have long had a fascination with dancing with the devil or meeting him at a crossroad. On this track, Tini ends up in a car with someone a lot like old Lucifer.
This is storytelling at its finest as the grim tale reaches a violent conclusion. The detail in the lyrics about the strange man’s age and off-white skin colour would make for sinister visuals.
Having this kind of song, trap like horrorcore, at the top of the tape is a bold move. Things get a bit duller as the next tracks roll in. After a healthy dose of the street Tini we experienced in Get Money, and not the one dressed in the pink rabbit suit in the Wena Wedwa video, we’re given the track Bet, which is underwhelming and lies somewhere between Get Money and Wena Wedwa.
It’s new wave and, honestly, a bit standard. The song is fitted with the signature Emtee/Ambitiouz chorus with the harmonised autotune notes. Hate it or love it, it is a distinctive style.
This vibe is carried over to Sucker, where Tini makes it apparent that he cannot only use the Ambitiouz signature style, but perhaps do it even better than its pioneers. After the tremendous beginning, the next two songs are nice but boring. Crash sees the return of Lisa, who is a highlight on this project. This one comes off as more of a duet. It is a love-driven rap song, which is not always a stupid idea. The key is in how it’s done and, instead of opting for the fake Jamaica-meets-Afro beats jive, this is closer to a street ballad from the 90s.
EPs are a good way to test-drive new sounds and DOA is the direction Tini needs to take.
Whatever happened to vocal capability?
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From the jump, you will be able to tell that this brother is a fan of Canadian singer The Weekend.
There are whining vocals and not much variation in pitch or notes. This makes Little While on the Pink Panther album a little stale.
All this swanky stuff seems to have engulfed R&B.
Guys used to clutch fistfuls of air while almost bursting into tears during songs. Now they just sing about how cool they are and why this is attractive.
He sings “That’s why I f*ck with you” on the hook for Right Now, which is a catchy enough song with some rather nifty production values, especially when the piano keys are brought in around his second verse.
No Ties generated tons of hype and saw Tshego trend for a few days. The King Monada feature still comes as a revitalising surprise, even when you know to expect it.
The production on this record is like waves of sound crashing and then fading while other sounds surface.
Me and You sees the Pink Panther (still unclear what all this pink panther stuff is about) link with Riky Rick for a cute, YFM charter-sounding song. Another uncertainty is in whether or not this guy raps or sings.
He’s no out-and-out rapper, nor singer.The Tory Lanez thing is a farce. Lanez, another Canadian artist, is running in two lanes and doing very little to push as far as he can.It starts to feel the same as Tshego lets loose with My Bros, an underwhelming salute to his posse.
In Ubumnandi, a kwaito-centric, electronic vibe shifts the gears a bit. Kwesta sprinkles his stardust on the track with a harder verse than is heard in his usual features.Given the hype around Tshego’s debut, it is somewhat of a letdown and yields very little in the way of timeless tracks.