First heard a couple of days ago on BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Charlie Sloth's 'Fire In The Booth' slot, in which he enlists rappers to basically come and do their thing live, I think I just had to write about this guy. You know that feeling. You hear it, you like it. What more can I say?
So this is Youngs Teflon, a London rapper who "began writing bars in the playground", showing clear signs of creativity from a young age. I love his name – it's Teflon, I'm making an educated guess, bc nothing sticks to him. Rolls off like dewdrop spheres of oil after a fry-up. Water off a duck's back as they say. But whatever. Idiomatic references aside, his sense of humour, soft side and penchant for weed shine through in 'When Thugs Cry'.
Obviously a tongue-in-cheek nod to Prince's 'When Doves Cry', Tef (as he's also known) sets his bars against a backdrop of slow-jam style beats, delicious clicks reverbing in its low-key sway, dripping with a waterfall of muffled samples that glisten with sparkles of longing piano melody. It's a gleaming of emotion that burns hot and measured, perfectly reflecting the pining for lost romance in his lyrics. Which, by the way, are full of imagery: "After hours I fall back and I break buds / Thinking about you in French plaits without makeup" – "Cold days when I'm grafting / Flashbacks of you laughing" and with part of the refrain "I've been drinking / With the music low but Mary Jane singing," all amassing to paint pictures of a guy, Tef himself, "reminiscing" about a relationship.
It's pretty, it's personal, it's not grime as you know it but it's forward-thinking grime that takes the inherent beauty of songs about lost love and injects London attitude; an achievement for sure and something that deserves airtime and more listeners.
- Watch Tef's Fire In The Booth performance here (click dat)
- If you like his calculated, picturesque style, you may wanna pick up his recent album Renaissance.
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