With such an impressive repertoire of hits – both solo works and collaborative efforts, it’s kinda hard to believe that its’ only now that fans are being treated to Yanga’s very first full body of work.
The Mantshingilane rapper has premiered TIAM, an EP consisting 7 tracks and no BS in between. Accompanied by beautiful artworks adorned with eye catching shades of blue, Yanga’s first baby is a coherent introduction of what the enigmatic rapper is really all about. And if TIAM is anything to go by, he’s purely about the work.
With just 7 songs, TIAM Episode 1 is short and sweet. Perhaps a conscious decision from one who appears to be so precise about his public image, brand and sound, the length of the album places the listener’s focus and energy on every song. There are no interludes, corny speeches or random sounds of objects crashing between railway lines in between. In the absence of all the fillers and gimmickery, attention goes into the actual subject matter – the songs.
Except of course, the artwork that accompanies the EP.
Known for being exceptionally conceptual with the narrative that informs his brand and feel, Yanga has dished out captivating visuals to complement the clean story of his ultimate introduction. His Instagram page alone looks like an assortment of carefully curated photographs showcasing a professional life inspired by style, music and colour.
Likewise, TIAM Episode 1 is subtle, clean and mellow – something we’ve come to know about Yanga.
And for those who are yet to delve into the record, Mntase, the project’s promotional single, is a perfect forecast of the overall sound and feel of the album. It’s also the album’s highlight, in particularly as it gives us a glimpse into the rapper’s pukka soulful side with the chanty vocals on the chorus.
In contrast, Bag It opens the album with a cold and easy trap sound. Heavy on the 808 and contemporary Hip Hop influence, the song is a straight forward club banger. The lyrics are edgy and confident, while the tempo is laze.
Consistent with the trap vibe, Yanga enlists Gemini Major on The Truth. On this one, he proves how much pulse he has on the ground. The song has all the elements of the popular Hip Hop sound that dominated the charts in 2016, a smart inclusion on his first project. One can almost see the video with all the neon colours. That probably won’t happen, but you get the point.
Anytime would be the second best song on the album. The beat is beautiful, addictive and less plugged into already existing sounds. The vibe is just beautiful, with an effortless cross over appeal that will snap the attention of Pop Bottles attendees as much as it might get blast somewhere in Lagos.
Overall, it’s a nice listen.
TIAM EPISODE 1 TRACKLIST
The Truth (feat. Gemini Major)
Special (feat. KLY)
Ghost Stories ( feat. PH)
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