slowthai - 'TYRON'

8/10

Since slowthai released his breakthrough debut album 'Nothing Great About Britain' in 2019, it is fair to say that a lot has happened to the rapper since then. While that release earned him dozens of accolades, including a nod for that year's Mercury Music Prize, his controversial persona proved to grab more headlines than his music ever did. After providing a memorable performance holding up a severed head of Boris Johnson and being criticised for his violent and allegedly misogynistic attitude at the NME Awards the following year, it felt like his career was constantly in danger of collapse. But instead of running from the controversy, he threw himself headfirst into it before channeling it for his sophomore effort 'TYRON', a record that builds on the anger and vengeance of his debut.

From the very start, 'TYRON' is an unrelenting juggernaut of hard beats and quickfire flow that sees him take the experiences of the last couple of years, and work them into the fabric of his very being. With tracks like 'CANCELLED' and 'DEAD' confronting the image the public now has of him, he is clearly embracing his new identity as one of the country's more contentious artists while showing his true spirit throughout this album with little to no compromise. While some may criticise his demeanour on this release, it is clear that he knows exactly the kind of person he is and isn't willing to let the public or media distort that direction.

The latter half of this collection is probably the most progressive that we have ever seen him. With the tracklisting on this half in lower case opposed to the capital letters of the first seven singles, it is a chance for slowthai to reflect on the visceral energy of the former cuts, giving us some of his more thought-provoking offerings and delivering his most accomplished release to date.

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