Tinuke’s debut compilation release, dubbed H.E.R Mixtape, H.E.R standing for: Having Extreme Rage was first announced when we caught up with her earlier this year [read the full interview here]. The tape is finally here! Actually it’s been out a while now, having dropped sometime in October. Either way, it was totally worth the wait and we finally get to subject it to an Unorthodox Review.
First of all, Tinuke Noah is a problem! Any lingering doubts I may have had about her ability were absolutely cast away just half-way through the tape. She makes an audacious statement of intent with her debut release, marking her turf as the most lyrically proficient female MC on the scene.
H.E.R Mixtape is a 10 track tape that features fellow emerging acts Komos, Mad Scientist, T-Made, and Mayhem. Production on the mixtape sees appearances from a handful of young, relatively unknown producers; Mad Scientist, Rymez, and Twisted Wavex who showed so much promise.
With regards to genre, I will describe H.E.R Mixtape as strictly hip hop (although it has certain RnB and pop undertones). A testament to this is the fact that Tinuke’s most successful single arguably, Waakye, which she describes as a ‘vibe-ish Afro-pop sound’ did not make the cut– a bold decision if you ask me.
Hard-core hip-hop and trap joints such as Collusion, FOMF, Never a Slave, and Goddess amongst others generally characterize the tape. Time, which is a party song with the typical theme of letting loose and having a good time, will likely pique the most interest from the casual listener. The infectious instrumental spots a prominent synth melody coupled with a groovy drum pattern which one cannot help bumping to. Complementing Tinuke’s effort on this joint is usual collaborator Mayhem, who delivers a catchy hook and a quite impressive sing-rap verse.
The Rymez produced Walk Right In is another party song, but this time with an electro-pop/ house vibe. Tinuke sounds pleasantly comfortable spitting on this, which is a bit surprising since it is out of her comfort zone. The experiment paid off I must say, as it was refreshing to hear at least a bit of a difference in sound.
Another one of the ‘anomalies’ is Something’s Missing which features T-Made. This tune is a love song with RnB undertones as Tinuke does not only rap but also exercises her vocal range treating us to some decent singsongy cadence. Here Tinuke gets gushy and sentimental which is a bit odd in the face of all the cussing and hardcore flows we were treated to on the preceding joints.
H.E.R Mixtape is a must listen! With this body of work, Tinuke has brought something astonishingly fresh to our monotonous rap scene. A female MC who can boast not only of versatility but an unapologetic hard-core flow which packs enough lyrical ammunition to body any rapper (male or female) is a rarity in these parts.