London-based artist cktrl broke through with his debut Robyn EP last year, and safe is the final track from his new four-tracker zero which landed last week and starts life with a gently billowing cloud of echoing brass and soothing strings before ending with safe, a bassy, sensual, trappy cut with gorgeous vocals and a satisfying depth to its production.
At time of writing Californian artist Theo Troy has zero followers on Soundcloud – the only place his music currently seems to be available – which is puzzling, as he’s making some really great records, not least of Cyberhoes which is lo-fi (but not annoyingly, druggily so) hip-hop/trap that boasts not only some really intriguing textures and woozy beats, but a memorable vocal performance which stays just the right side of indecipherable drone, the combined effect of which makes this stand head and shoulders above the constant tide of similarly DIY rap fare.
New York-based artist and songwriter BAYLI teams up with Atlanta-bred hip-hop artist and songwriter ILoveMakonnen on SICK!, which her first release since her recent signing with Snafu Records and a precursor to her forthcoming debut EP, stories from new york, which lands later this year. SICK! rolls along on a squelchy trap beat underpinning some solid verses from both artists and is elevated by the haunting synths which flutter around in the background in a very pleasing fashion indeed.
Kiwi-French artist Kazra makes his TPW debut with new single, Welcome To My Stream which serves as the opening track from his upcoming debut album Reconnected. Influenced by iconic rap stars like Travis Scott and Post Malone, it strikes just the right balance between chest-puffing aggrandising and floating, nihilistic melancholy, especially in the glorious mid-section.
There aren’t many artists who could pull together album features from Kid Cudi, Post Malone, Kanye West, Anderson .Paak, Thundercat, Nicki Minaj, Kehlani, Future, Young Thug, etc, etc – but Ty Dolla $ign is a Big Dog Indeed and ha$ done ju$t that. Honestly I haven’t enjoyed a rap album this much since Saint Jhn’s Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs (and I really, really enjoyed that), and even though it conforms to the now omnipresent rap trend of clocking in at over an hour and includes more tracks than seems reasonable, it never overstays its welcome, and actually just gets better and better. Time Will Tell is one of the few tracks with no features, but without doubt one of the strongest, with Ty rolling effortlessly over a subdued, hypnotic beat.