Ty has been a consistently classy MC and producer since he first emerged on Big Dada 10 years ago. He’s had the honour of a Mercury nomination, and worked with luminaries like Tony Allen, De La Soul and Damon Albarn in the process. But he’s never felt the need to sound like the next man, and has always kept his identity strong along the way. Now on BBE, “Emotions” precedes new album Special Kind Of Fool, and true to form, it’s a delight.
Smothered in Sarina Leah’s looped vocals and some tripped-out samples, Ty references everything from Cypress Hill, Justin Timberlake to 80’s novelty Rock Me Amadeus, and delivers it in his own distinctive London flow. The soulful vibe is kept in check with heavy and sparse drums, which keep it rooted in hip-hop. On a diferent tip, Bugz In The Attic’s “Daz-I-Kue” upps the tempo and puts a seriously funky broken beat under Ty, complete with some bass hits that sound a dead ringer for Lalo Schifrin’s Bullet soundtrack. Sarina Leah’s and Shaun Escoffery’s dueling backing vocals are also brought up in the mix and get rearranged into a smart call and response. Brooklyn legend and J Dilla protege Waajeed is let loose on a mix too, and delivers with a sly rearrangement of the chorus and some added eerie organ stabs.
This tune’s already had support from Mista Jam and Dj Semtex, and with any luck “Emotions” should help Ty reach out to even more fans of quality, non-cliched hip-hop.
Review: Oliver Keens