When combined with hunger, talent is undeniable, and Tai Wo puts his heart into this EP. In fact, ironically being that this is an EP, the only thing I really didn’t like about this is that it was so short.
Tai Wo – Summa Nothings EP (iTunes)
When combined with hunger, talent is undeniable, and Tai Wo puts his heart into this EP. In fact, ironically being that this is an EP, the only thing I really didn’t like about this is that it was so short. 8 tracks total, one being an intro, two being skits, left me wondering if I had missed something. Just as Tai had caught my attention, it was over. Sure, “Better Days” is an obvious nod to 2PAC, one of Tai’s biggest inspirations, but it still is a good song. The skit about Africans (being that he is African) was funny. I liked the aggression of “Survival of the Fittest” and could relate to “Dead Broke,” but a track like “Shoppers Crush,” where he tells his story about growing up poor and seeing things in store windows wishing he could afford them, really shows what this guy is capable of. Of course, being that it was the last track, it left me hanging. I also must point out that this entire project is mixed really well; much respect to the engineer. Title aside, there is definitely something here that is worth listening to, so check it out and hope it holds you over till Winter Somethings, or whatever he has planned next, comes out.
Warning: we are about to go straight to the trap. If you are only into that “real Hip-Hop, yo….” or haven’t figured out that it is no longer the 90’s yet… keep it moving, this is not for you. Young Jwrek (pronounced J-Wreck) is like a screaming combination of Plies and Pastor Troy over dramatic 808-driven beats, and with songs like “Shooters,” “No More Loyalty,” “Rob The Robber,” and “Started 2 Young,” J isn’t trying to waste your time with some lyrical shit. As J says, “This is for the dope boys.” After all… it is called Dopelympiks. He even has DJ BlackHo (who sounds like DJ Holiday on a OJ Da Juiceman tape) yelling at you every now and then, and doing that South tape thing. I like to keep an open mind, so I’m not one to hate on someone who chooses this route as their way of approaching Hip-Hop, but songs like “Beethoven” and “Lil Mama” do go a little too far, even for me. “Learned In The Streets” though, I can relate to that; after all, I learned a lot from my plugs back in the day. Call it derivative, ignorant, simple, honest, bullshit, whatever you want, but as my man Lithium God would say, “this is that trap shit.” It is what it is.
Its an odd concept to release a EP based on the Tokyo and NYC nightlife scenes, but with that in mind, much of this project makes a bit more sense. Described as “a sound that encompasses Synthpop, Hip-Hop, Downtempo, and Bass Music,” I knew immediately upon pressing play that, like a bite of sushi, this shit wasn’t for me. That doesn’t mean it’s not for you, or that anything here is necessarily bad, I just didn’t like anything on here beyond the first track, “ShunRise,” and the title of the second track, “40’s and Chinese Food” (that was my lifestyle for a bit right there!). The production definitely sounds as described, and the lyrics, all use of the word “swag” aside, are… there, just not my cup of ocha. Give it a shot though, I guarantee upon first taste, you’ll know.