The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Review: ‘Trapsoul’ provides great listening, helps new music genre forward



If you’re looking for the next potential R&B and rap superstar, look no further than Kentucky’s own Bryson Tiller.

Tiller scored a breakout hit with the single “Don’t,” which he dropped on his SoundCloud page where it immediately gained popularity. It was inevitable that he would build on the success of the “Don’t” single and drop a proper debut album, which he has done with his record “Trapsoul”.

After getting early co-signs from recording artists Drake and Timbaland, who co-produced his album, the pressure was on for Tiller. In “Trapsoul” Tiller delivers a solid effort that will be hard to follow.

Tiller has a smooth and soulful croon he applies to songs built around trap beats. His music uses trap beats inspired by Southern hip-hop music, not the electronic dance music version, which make up the sound Tiller calls trapsoul.

The beat selections fit perfectly with Tiller’s voice, along with great songwriting.

Tiller sounds like a rougher version of recording artist The-Dream. The topics he touches on range from personal and confessional to typical R&B subject matter like love and women.

There are many standout tracks on Tiller’s debut, including the aforementioned breakout single, but “Exchange” is the album’s highlight track.

Tiller sounds hungry on “Trapsoul”, especially on songs like “502 Come Up” and “Rambo.” The latter has Tiller switching from singing to rapping with great results. Tiller can sing and rap, and in this day and age when DIY careers are up and coming in the music game, it’s a great skill to have.
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Tiller’s most underrated skill is his songwriting. Tiller has a penchant for creating melodies that hit you right away or take time to digest.

The way he interpolates lyrics from Mariah Carey’s “Shake it Off” on “Don’t” will make you want to listen to the songs back to back.

The track “The Sequence” pays homage to Tupac Shakur in a very infectious manner when he quotes the rappers classic song “I Get Around”.

Sometimes melodies and lyrics aren’t even what catch your attention on “Trapsoul”.

On “Sorry Not Sorry”, which is co-produced by Timbaland, Tiller samples the “Street Fighter” video game theme song. The song definitely brings a new appreciation and a feeling of nostalgia for fans of the game.

Tiller is confident in himself, and that is why he coined the nickname Pen Griffey Jr., which is a pun on the famous baseball player and Tiller’s “pen game,” or songwriting skills.

The nickname is clever, yet fitting when you listen to “Trapsoul”.

It is refreshing to enjoy quality music from a genre that is taking off in a new direction. With artists trying to emulate Drake, and Kanye before him, Tiller is a product of these two influences. He’s making the most of it, and if his confidence is any indication, Tiller won’t be stopping anytime soon.

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