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slowthai: "Tyron" Album Review

After a sketchy start to 2020, UK rapper slowthai starts the year off with a bang(er) with his brand new album ‘Tyron’.

Slowthai burst onto the scene back in 2016, when he dropped his first single ‘jiggle’. 4.5 million monthly listeners and some T N Biscuits later, the 26-year-old has since partnered with some of the industry’s biggest names, including A$AP Rocky, Aminé, and Skepta, solidifying his seat within the rap community. However, after *that* incident at the NME awards last year, it seemed the young musician’s career was over…

The rapper, full name Tyron Frampton, woke up to much more than just a hangover the next day, as he found himself under fire from hundreds of people online. Despite issuing an immediate apology, and Katherine Ryan herself brushing the incident off as a joke, many people were still unimpressed, and were in pursuit of ‘canceling’ the rapper, as he carried on with his ‘cheeky chap’ agenda.

However, it seems the whole ordeal impacted slowthai more than previously suspected, as - in his album Tyron - he swaps out his usual scrutiny of society and the UK government, and chooses to shine the spotlight on himself instead, exploring his mistakes, his relationships, and his own mental health struggles in his lyrics. Through this he reminds listeners that he is only human, with his own issues and tendencies to self-medicate, naturally resonating with his age group.

“Feeling like these drugs made me better than I was But I never felt love before the drugs” slowthai - Mazza

After three failed Prime Ministers, and the ultimate sabotage of the only decent politician in the country, the UK is currently a rather miserable place to be if you’re young and in the working-class - which is exactly how slowthai grew up. The older generation fucks up our future while blaming all of the world’s problems on us, leaving us with a very bitter taste in our mouths.

Slowthai takes this bitterness and forms them into words, choruses for us to chant as we form our revolution. Backed up by grimey Hip-Hop beats and famous features, he raps what we are all feeling, to a punchy tune we can play from our speakers and sing along to, feeling absolutely invincible as we do so. He is a voice of this generation, and a strong one too.

And ‘Tyron’ is no different, very much exclaiming the same message: “yes we’re young, but we still have a voice”. The album, which slowthai has dedicated to “anyone in a dark place”, is split into two parts: half of the album titles in lowercase and half in capitals, very much conveying the different levels of aggression within the songs. The capitalised tracks, rumoured to have been recorded soon after the NME awards and the UK’s initial descent into national lockdown, are much grimier, much louder, and much angrier. Whereas the second half, although still shining a light on the struggles young people face in the UK, is softer, more sensitive and easy listening. The contrast in tone within the album makes it feel much more complete as a whole, as compared to his first album “Nothing Great About Britain” which only made it to #9 on the UK charts with no number one singles.

“Heard your man’s mixtape, thought it’s a piss-take So I use its case to ash my zoot” slowthai - VEX

Boasting features such as James Blake, Dominic Fike and Denzel Curry, slowthai explores his own personal issues in the new album, such as his struggles with ADHD and mental illness, through the use of pop culture references and comedic bars, making him all the more relatable and likable. This is also reflected in the accompanying music videos, which are just as entertaining. I mean who doesn’t want to see A$AP Rocky tripping balls in the comfort of their own bedroom?

You can listen to slowthai’s Tyron here, or check out the AFTR PRTY playlist with our favorite picks off the album.

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