We were inundated with new music from prominent artists such as Drake, Future, Mac Miller, and Fetty Wap a few weeks ago, but you may have heard of a new name being brought up in the conversation. TRAPSOUL is the introduction to Louisville, Kentucky’s own Bryson Tiller, a millenial crooner who is just as hip hop as he is R&B. Backed by co-signs from Drake and Timbaland, Tiller generated an organic buzz through the use of Soundcloud hits and word of mouth. “Don’t”-his anthem for treating your lady right-became a cult hit, leading to him inking a deal with RCA Records shortly thereafter.
TRAPSOUL is a mix of previously released cuts and new music that showcases Tiller’s pen skills. He’s a great singer in his own right, but the talent truly resides in the way he phrases everyday situations in his music. “Exchange” is a personal “I’m going to get her back” record as Bryson uses his platform to speak to the one that got away. He displays a knack for clever wordplay and pace as he uses exchange literally and breaks down the word (exes change) later into the song.
Bryson is traditional in his sense of sound, but provides a new age twist-something you would expect from a mixtape titled TRAPSOUL. Songs like “Don’t” and “Been That Way” are familiar, and not only for the fact that they’ve been on his Soundcloud for some time. They sound like what you would expect from an R&B prodigy, reminiscent of the genre in the early 2000’s. As soon you think he’s one thing he switches it up to the new age half rap, half R&B hybrid on songs like the standouts “Rambo” and “502 Come Up.” Another thing to note is never does it seem as if he’s reaching for something he has no connection to musically. There are no contrived influences which is something to be said for most major label R&B acts these days.
TRAPSOUL showcases the different sides of Bryson Tiller, but as a body of work it lacks cohesiveness. It’s a demo tape masked as a major label debut which can hurt more than it helps. It’s an impressive prospect highlight tape more than it is the mark of true star, which Bryson has the potential to be.