Bryson Tiller, the 22-year-old singer-rapper hailing from Louisville, KY, released his debut album, “T R A P S O U L,” on Oct. 2 by RCA Records.
Tiller gained notoriety and attention through his very successful SoundCloud page. This has led to major co-signs from Drake, Timbaland, Apple Music and even Sylvester Stallone (go figure, right?).
The self-proclaimed creator of the “trapsoul” sound/genre, his debut album is a combination of old school soul and introspection, with new school “trap” influenced production. The 14-track album is filled with chill, laid back vibes and dense, atmospheric bass and 808-heavy production.
His song “Don’t,” the fifth track off the album has gained 29 million views on his SoundCloud page. The song, that gained the attention of the aforementioned Drake, has Tiller singing about wanting to be with a girl who is being mistreated by her current man.
“Girl said he keeps on playing games and his loving ain’t the same / I don’t know what to say-ay but what a shame / If you were mine you would not get the same / If you were mine you would top everything,” he croons over a soothing, dark, shadowy beat.
Tiller doesn’t hold back on his true feelings and is lyrically candid throughout the album. On the song, “The Sequence,” he begs to his girl to give him a second chance and take him back.
“Say this sh*t once, say this sh*t two times / I won’t stop til I get what’s mine / I know I f*cked up one too many times,” Tiller pleads.
On “Open Interlude,” he shows his vulnerability again as he opens up to his girl. Over a very dark, eerie, spacey beat, he sings, “Don’t wanna act all nonchalant, that would mean that everything we talked about was all for nothin’ / Ohh, girl you know I’ve been sufferin’.”
But not all the album is about the 22-year-old spilling out his feelings to women. Songs like “Rambo” and “502 Come Up,” incorporate Tiller’s rap-singing abilities. These songs are aggressive and menacing, and are seeped with Tiller’s swag and braggadocio.
In “Rambo,” he compares himself to the movie character, Rambo, over a chilling, haunting, melodic piano and gritty drums. “Rambo, they begging for Mercy, like Lambo / No they told me kill them all, god damn though / I know they want to see me fall, look where I am though.”
“502 Come Up” has Tiller embracing his new-found fame, but he is still ambitious and is still on his grind for more.
“Sorry Not Sorry,” is the catchiest and most upbeat instrumental of the project. Head bobbing is a must to this song. The beat, containing a Street Fighter sample, is layered with fast rolling hi-hats and a deep, heavy, speaker-knocking 808. “Sorry Not Sorry” is an anti-gold digger anthem.
“T R A P S O U L” ends with “Right My Wrongs.” The best track on the album, has a more traditional R&B sound. The slower, stripped-back instrumental showcases Tiller’s vocals and emotion.
“Right My Wrongs,” begins with the absolutely beautiful sample of “All Yours” by Submotion Orchestra (“Could it be you calling me down? / My foolish heart turns at the stars / All that I am is all that you see / You don’t need nobody else, and you’re putting this all on me, forgive me” ). Tiller then comes in explaining to his girl, that he is what she needs and how he regrets putting her in tough situations and wants to right his wrongs. This is the most serious and sincere Tiller sounds on the whole album.
Tiller is among the new-sounding, modern day R&B, along with acts like The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Tory Lanez and Ty Dolla $ign. His sound isn’t exactly anything all too new or groundbreaking, but “T R A P S O U L” shows that he has a place in the modern day R&B and will be a factor in the near future.
The album does lack a bit of variety and shows Tiller’s lack of versatility. Every song on the album has that “trapsoul” sound, and is dark and spacey, but how far can Tiller ride that wave for? We will see.
He has loads of potential mainly because of his songwriting abilities, song crafting abilities and the bareness of his lyrics. “T R A P S O U L” is only the beginning for Bryson Tiller, I am very interested in what he does moving forward.
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