Byrson Tiller struggles to follow up after TRAPSOUL

After T R A P S O U L, a freshman album that skyrocketed the Louisville R&B/rapper’s early career, there was a drought from Bryson Tiller. Tiller found himself in a weird spot: Do you make another T R A P S O U L, or is there a way to reinvent your wheelhouse?

Unfortunately, True to Self lacks the creativity of its predecessor, often times finding Tiller rapping and crooning about breakup after breakup without the sprinkle of creativity that previously worked so well. After five tracks in, songs begin to sound all too similar. The production was all right during the first few tracks, with “Don’t Get Too High” (Skyz Muzik, NES, Beaux) being arguably the most enjoyable track. Why? It felt like Tiller’s first LP with hooks and verses that have seemingly matured.

However, there’s nothing appealing about “Blowing Smoke” which boasts lazy lyrics and rhyming one word with the same word.

I go to, I go to bat for my n*
The pun was intended, n*
Wow, look how I’m livin’, n*
Angels say watch how you spendin’, n*
Devil say cop a new Bentley, n*

The most frustrating aspect of songs like “Blowing Smoke” and others of the like is that Tiller tries to go more heavy trap influence than a solid mixture between both that and soul. This is more of a “Look at my Rolex” album than an intrinsic view on relationships.

True to Self’s release was reportedly botched, as well, with the LP being released a month early. I don’t think anything changes the quality of the album, but I believe the marketing hurts Tiller’s latest album, on top of it being a downgrade from T R A P S O U L.

Artists should grow from album to album. This just feels like an album an artist puts out towards the end of their career when filler will suffice.

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