If you’re on a searching for some smooth and soulful hip hop music, you might consider listening to tai free’s new EP Journals. Each track has a calm, relaxed feel that puts listeners at ease and provides the opportunity to assess the musicality. The selections aren’t aggressive or fueled by overwhelming rage like some hip hop tracks. This EP wouldn’t be what most would consider dance music, but rather music you can vibe along to.
The Brooklyn artist has been making music for a while, but only started getting serious about two years ago. tai free writes and performs his own songs, and the EP is appropriately titled as it provides snapshot of his thoughts and experiences. He describes the collection as “a sketchbook of colors, moods, and self-actualizations.”
In “I’m Not Here,” it’s clear he’s talking to someone close to him saying that he doesn’t want to be lied to any longer and that he is “not here for games.” Whoever he’s addressing was making him wait and reveals that he’s not going to wait around because he’s too focused on bettering his personal situation to be involved. At the end of “Bite Your Tongue,” he repeats the lines “Baby don’t bite your tongue, baby don’t lie…” seemingly trying to reinforce the idea that he desires honesty. Rap artists frequently draw on personal experiences for lyrical substance and he does so too by subtly depicting his thoughts and goals.
The syncopated percussion part in “Complications” is slightly unpredictable and bolsters the title and uncertainty of the situation with the girl expressed throughout. “Drive” incorporates female vocals by Francesca in the beginning which lay down the poignant foundation for the track.
tai free seems to have a lot of raw talent and knows how to write lyrics that can easily fit into a song structure. The dynamic range of his vocal delivery however, could be broader throughout to show more expression and emotion behind the words. The mixes of each track are relatively simple, and more production elements could be added to his music to enhance the texture. As a newer artist, more consideration for creative direction and collaboration with other songwriters can only benefit his music moving forward. Overall, tai free has taken the right steps and could have a reputable future in music.
Key Tracks: I’m Not Here, Drive, Bite Your Tongue