Review: TYRON

4/5 Anchors

Evan McHenry, Copy

Slowthai burst into the rap music scene as a brash, boxer-clad hooligan known for parading around his concerts with the fake severed head of Boris Johnson. The UK rapper hasn’t lost his in-your-face enthusiasm on his latest project, “TYRON,” but he’s revealed a new slowthai–a more introspective and melancholy one. The project is his second studio album, following up on 2019’s “Nothing Great About Britain,” which received general acclaim. 

The bifurcation is not subtle on this project: the tracks on the first half are stylized in all caps, and they sound fittingly aggressive. The album kicks off with the banger “45 SMOKE,” which features slowthai spitting some quick bars, and then moving into a Playboi Carti-esque voice. Another head-nodder, “MAZZA,” features A$AP Rocky, who provides a characteristically smooth delivery. “VEX,” “WOT” and “DEAD” are all similarly hard-hitting, and while they are solid tracks, they have less replay value on account of the tracks that follow. “PLAY WITH FIRE” is the last track on “Disc 1,” the more aggressive half of the album; however, the beat is slightly more downtempo, and slowthai’s delivery has a tinge of the introspection and vulnerability, a preview of the second half of the album. There are also some more melodic humming samples towards the end of the track as the album’s early heat begins to cool, and over the final 40 seconds, slowthai reads some of his most cryptic and heartfelt tweets. 

“i tried” follows, with slowthai opening up about his problems over some Kanye-esque high pitched vocal samples. “focus” and “terms” are solid, too, but the Denzel Curry feature on the latter will have some fans confused, as the rapper only provides some light ad-libs. However, the next track, “push,” is perhaps the album’s best. Soft guitar strums form the instrumental, and Deb Never provides some great sung vocals, which complement some of slowthai’s best rhymes and flow. “nhs” and “feel away”–both originally singles–are great, too; slowthai has perfected the art of the “sad banger,” and his vulnerable, emotion-laden flow on the second half of this album makes him, ironically, stronger than he’s ever been.