Tinie Tempah Ain’t Mad
Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu aka Tinie Tempah arrived on the world music scene with a loud bang this year — and rightly so. At the age of 22, his debut album “Disc-Overy,” has already been certified double platinum in the U.K. where it was released in October 2010 and won two BRIT awards (Britain’s equivalent of the Grammys).
For all those people who are still a bit lost, fear not; if you have heard the song “Written in the Stars” blaring on the radio or danced to the beats of “Frisky,” “Miami 2 Ibiza” or “Pass Out,” you already know Tinie Tempah.
Tempah’s style has been compared with the styles of Dizziee Rascal and Chipmunk in the way that he experiments with rap, rock, hip-hop, electro and grime. His album contains electronic beats, synthesizers and the occasional air horn, but the diversity of the beats on every track never overshadows his lyrics and performance.
The 13 tracks on “Disc-Overy” deal with themes of love, self-discovery and fame, and covers electronic club songs, slow songs and rap songs. The opening track, “Intro,” really sets the pace and speed for the rest of the album. It is not one of the best songs of the album as the synthesizers, drums and electric guitars are a bit too loud and make the lyrics very hard to understand.
“Simply Unstoppable” displays an array of beats and sounds, including the cliché hip-hop air horn. On this track, Tempah raps about the lifestyles of the rich and famous, backed by a female vocalist, a trend that continues throughout the album.
“Disc-Overy” keeps going uphill from here, and there is never a dull moment in the album. The album features many other famous collaborators; Wiz Khalifa is featured in the U.S. track “Till I’m Gone.” Eric Turner also guest stars in “Written in The Stars,” a track about being true to yourself.
Ellie Goulding, a rising British pop singer, features on one of the best songs of the album, “Wonder Man.” Lastly, Tempah collaborates with the Swedish House Mafia on the song “Miami 2 Ibiza,” which is a trance and electro house track through and through. I dare you to not shake your head or tap your feet while listening to this number.
Even though there are a lot of guest artists on the album, Tinie Tempah shows that he can stand on his own two feet with the song “Illusion,” a track with layers of beats but none overlapping; it epitomizes the new generation of “grime” music. Lyrically the song deals with living life to the fullest with no worries.
There are two songs on the album, which are slower and softer as compared to the earlier heart-pumping, exhilarating numbers. The first one is “Snap,” which is inspired by his own childhood memories and his respect for his mother. The second song is “So Addicted,” which concerns the inevitable theme of love and adoration: “I’m so addicted to your loving / Every second I be thinking about you.”
The album does have its flaws. “Disc-Overy” could easily lose the songs “Let Go” and “Love Suicide.” Nothing is in favor of these two numbers. The beats are monotonous, and the female vocals are screechy and annoying.
Tinie Tempah has, as yet, not given any explanation to the bizarre hyphen in “Disc-Overy” or the origins of his stage name. But that does not stop you from enjoying his music, and it should definitely not stop you from buying his album. This is one young artist who we have to look out for in the future and will be hearing a lot of new music from him as he is already penning his second album.
Rating: 4/5 Stars