The process of merging can be a powerful thing. Whether it’s something simple as a drink (kool aid) or something as complex as different business companies coming together, the end result could create something magnificent. Every now and then, Hip hop and Neo Soul needs to merge. Yes… we did have Jay-Z and R Kelly’s “Best of Both Worlds”, which can be seen as somewhat of a blue print (see what I did there), but we need something more current to show the importance of this back in music. I believe our prayers have been answered through Phonte and Eric Roberson with their “Tigallerro” album. Now that is in no way only limiting Phonte as simply the rapper and Eric as simply the singer. As they showed us on the single “It’s so easy“, they both literally tag team both genres together.
One of my favorite tracks of the album is “My kind of lady“. DJ Harrison does a great job of including elements of hip hop and old school soul. It sets the mood of truly having a fun time with the people that you love. He does such a good job creating that atmosphere, that Eric reads our minds and talks about having a barbecue on the lawn and discussing real music and freestyling over some dilla beats.
One of the greatest accomplishments from the album is the fusion and creation of “trap soul” with their track “Hold Tight“. Both artists not only ride the beat effortlessly, but bring a important point of holding tight to love and settling down when you find it. The visuals that Phonte gives of the everyday things that women do in relationships (like stealing their man’s clothes, etc) hits home for those that have been a real relationship.
One of my favorite produced tracks from the album comes from Daniel Crawford with “Something“. Eric truly shines as he inspires the listeners to dig deep and recognize that God gives us that “something” to keep going and striving in life. Phonte does a excellent job on the background vocals and hook.
Overall, this is one of the best projects I’ve heard not only for this year, but from the last twenty years for several reasons. It fills a void within music that we have been missing for a while. This album brings REAL LOVE SONGS back to hip hop. We stopped getting those songs in the late 90s. Staying within that vein, both artists get very detailed on the importance of valuing love and not falling for the smoke and mirrors and “having to tell your kids that you risked it all for a chick off of instagram” realism. Also, the production is on point. From Zo! to S1, not one beat lacked or felt out of place on this project. Tigallerro feels like a new standard within music. It will challenge artists from both genres to step up their content/lyrics, exploring out of the box and production. I loved this project and it proves my theory that when you merge the right elements, you can truly experience something magnificent.
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