UK Hip-Hop | Rap
It is most certainly fair to say that Northampton-raised rap artist Tyron Frampton, more widely known as slowthai, nad little trouble getting that big break with his 2019 debut album, Nothing Great About Britain, which stood as one of my favourite albums of that year.
That first album felt like a remarkable representation of slowthai’s rap style and aesthetic, and felt relatable unlike any other project, thanks to the constant references that I was able to pick up on, being a UK kid growing up in the early 2000's.
Since then, I imagine that slowthai must’ve felt out of place, amongst the glitz and glamour that makes up the celebrity status. I felt that this was reflected by the rocky start slowthai had to his 2020, namely around the time surrounding his altercation at the NME awards show.
I imagine the days that followed said incident forced slowthai to put everything he has become into perspective. And I felt that this idea of self-reflection, is the main driving force behind his newest album, TYRON.
slowthai gave fans some musical clarity in May of last year, releasing three standalone track’s that ultimately ended up being separate entities to this new album. These three tracks, particularly “ENEMY”, felt like a musical reflection of what happened earlier that year, and it gave us the relieving sign that the UK rapper is back on his feet.
The true teasing for TYRON began with the release of “feel away”, a track which featured the likes of James Blake and Mount Kimbie. But more so than just teasing the album, this track teased a more mellow and introspective side to slowthai’s style; something that we would ultimately be getting a lot more of later on.
As the name of this album suggests, TYRON is an album that offers the artist’s own self-reflection through music. While Nothing Great About Britain had a concept that was heavily focused about growing up in working class Britain, TYRON locks on to slowthai’s recent memory, and the present. But more importantly, it reflects the sense of optimistic and pessimistic duality that is a constant plague upon a more famous slowthai.
This is wonderfully narrated into what is essentially two discs on the album. Disc 1 includes all track titles being characterized in capital letters, and clearly carries the more upbeat and hard-hitting tunes. This side represents the rappers feelings of deservedness, and desire to be unapologetically himself under the spotlight. On the flip side, Disc 2 is what carries the more introspective and mellow tracks, and we see a far more humbled and thoughtful side to the artist.
Not only does this mean that TYRON is the kind of album where almost everyone should be able to find at least one track they enjoy, but it also adds a real conceptual weight to this album.
But even with its conceptualisation aside, TYRON is still a highly memorable album in the surface, and features quite an exciting cast of featured artists, including returning features such as Skepta and Denzel Curry.
While I still feel that I connected with Nothing Great About Britain a tiny bit more, TYRON truly isn’t that far behind. And given how anxious I was about how this album would follow on from an album as phenomenal as his debut, TYRON’s impressiveness certainly put me at ease.
And most importantly, I truly appreciate that slowthai tackled this album from a different angle, and I would love to see more deep and reflective tunes from this awesome artist in the future.
Favourite Tracks: MAZZA | VEX | i tried | feel away
Least Favourite Track: nhs
Method Records | Interscope | AWGE
Enjoyment: 9/10 | Memorability: 10/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10
Uniqueness: 7/10 | Satisfaction: 8/10 | Narrative: 10/10