Every so often a music sensation takes the underground by storm and makes the entire industry take notice. For Bryson Tiller who blew up over social media he is living every artist who attempts to do the sames dream. Whenever a Tiller track would come on and you knew the words it is like you were apart of this cool click nobody knew about yet. Chances are that really good quote you seen a friend post you thought was their own was actually a Tiller lyric. Fresh off the singer/rapper’s last album Trapsoul which was met with critical acclaim more eyes began to look his way. No longer hidden in plain sight Bryson Tiller is back with his sophomore release True to Self which debuted at number one the Billboard charts last week.
Tillers True To Self begins with the Rain on Me sample with Bryson frantically calling his girl on the phone rushing over to her place letting her know even though they argue all of the time they need to try to make it work. Tiller raps “I wanna grow grey with you have a baby by you and cater to you.”The next few tracks see Bryson trade delivery from braggadocio rapping with songs like “Blowing Smoke” and “Self Made” to back to his phone call venting his relationship problems with “We Both Know” and “No Longer Friends.”
“Run me dry” has a nice island vibe to it. It is about spending too much money on girls in the club and is the closest to what this album gets to what people call a radio friendly single. “High Stakez” is an honest song about how his life has changed with his newfound success.
In “Before You Judge” there is a vicious verse where Tiller blasts his former manager whom he had a falling out with. Even though Bryson sings and raps he does not have the problem of coming off soft so when he does spit you believe it. Tiller flows “I’m a let God fix it, cus if I fix it my daughter gon have to grow up without a father figure im end up in prison wishing I never got into this business. Its nothing personal I just made the business decision, I may have a job for you if you shape up or you can feel the position, that’s just as real as it gets.”
Bryson’s second album concludes with the first single from the project “Something Tells Me.” An ode about how he knows in his relationship there will always be the preconceived notion that it is not going to work out but the resolution is that he and his girl will always be together if they just agree to work together.
“Hood but you far from the streets you was in”
“Turned up at the function you can barely function”
“I’m the only drug you need to get you through it”
“I go to bat for my niggas the pun was intended”
“Ballin like im curry I need a jersey for myself
If I change ill be a better version of myself”
“Set It Off” takes you on a journey through Tiller’s rocky relationship. This is about a ride or die girl every guy wants. the type who will do anything including fight for you, ready to get it poppin at a moments notice. Tiller raps “She”ll kill almost any nigga including me nigga aint nobody can be with her…but me”
True To Me is an emotional roller coaster through all the ups and downs twists and turns one encounters in a relationship. Tiller sings for the dude who can’t and wants to vent to his girl but just cant express it. Bryson has great transitions between singing and rapping as he eases in and out like tight parking spots, nothing seems forced. When you hear artists say “I made this album for me” it is so true here because there is just his straight raw emotion. I don’t think there is a summer single smash on this record and doesn’t have any real features besides a few female sung bars. The only thing was that Bryson does not switch up his subject matter a lot and for me a lot of the records start to sound the same. With this being Tiller’s second project I would have liked to see him take more risks and experiment a little more to display growth. While there is no sophomore slump True To Me is a straightforward project that is heartfelt and never looses sight of what it is trying to accomplish.