One of the most buzzed about artists overseas is Tinie Tempah, a 22 year old British rapper that has exploded onto the scene in the last few years, with a grime-influenced style similar to Wiley and Dizzee Rascal. His official debut album, Disc-Overy, has seen massive success overseas, with four chart topping singles and an impending release stateside.
So how does Tempah’s debut sound to American ears? At times, he absolutely nails it. The biggest example of this is with his current U.S. club-smash with Swedish House Mafia, “Miami 2 Ibiza”, that channels the trio’s trademark house music production with Tinie’s infectious accent. The simple but quotable rhymes are match made in heaven, making it easy to see why he’s been given so much love in the club as of late.
The album kicks off perfectly, with the first few selections finding him in his most natural habitat. Both “Intro” and “Simply Unstoppable” find Tinie over abrasive drum & bass beats that have propelled the grime for years, putting him in his element. The same can be said for the electric blue head-nodder “Illusion” and the album’s first hit single, “Pass Out”. It’s on these types of tracks where Tinie’s signature sound is defined and untampered with.
The album takes a strange turn during it’s second half, however, with a handful of commercialized selections that lack in both style and substance. The R&B slow jam “Just A Little” is a questionable move for a guy with massive style. The same can be said for the pair pop-rock flavored joints “Let Go” and “Written In The Stars”, not to mention the faux-inspirational “Invincible” (feat. Kelly Rowland). If it wasn’t for the placement of “Miami 2 Ibiza” towards the end of the album, the second half would hardly be worth sticking around for.
But Tinie’s a young artist, one still searching for identity. If he could get past the almost-B.O.B.-esque need to make commercially viable “hit records” and really go for ‘delf lik
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