Towkio - WWW.
For a period there it felt like Rick Rubin's ear was one of the best in hip hop. However over the years there have been far more flops in Rubin's roster than hits. The latest from Rubin's stable of artists is Towkio's new record "WWW." (World Wide .Wav) a sequel to his 2015 release. Towkio is friends with Chance the Rapper and falls into the category of the current Chicago crew like Joey Purp and Vic Mensa. This brand of hip hop is almost the anti-trap, bright sounds and positive energy dripping from every corner, but where Chance's Coloring Book felt inspired and alive, this record feels like a shadow of that record. "2 Da Moon" is this really weak celebration of 90s hip hop but it feels like He is chasing the nostalgia route rather than really participating in it. Towkio's delivery is often clunky and odd because He doesn't really say much, just the normal platitudes you'd expect from a hip hop record in 2018. The production however is actually well done, if not dated. This is one of the issues with Rubin's work, He always feels two steps behind. If this would have come out in 2016, it may be a totally differenet record, but coming out now it feels like it is always lacking that experimental punch. Some of the tracks are also just kinda bad, like "Morning View" which features SZA. When she comes in it feels like a SZA song, tender yet drenched in Hip Hop. She has something to say with Her verse but Towkio stumbles around trying to sing when He absolutely cannot. "Forever" with Vic Mensa is similar with this kids choir singing the hook and a trumpet blaring the background, but it sound WAY to much like Chance almost like it was one of the throw aways from Coloring Book. It feels really fucking weird.
The same can be said for "CNTRL" which is damn near a praise song a-la Chance. It just feels odd even if they share all the same influences, Chance cornered the amrket on that sound and you should probably just let him have it. "Drift" is one of the standouts here because it's so different from the rest of the tracks. This Japanese influence is odd and a bit clunky at times, but Towkio is able to make it work. The same can be said for "Disco", it works because it is so different, when Towkio tries to slide towards the middle is when His music really suffers. He doesn't shine with a female singing the hook, He can't do R&B so why keep trying. If this was a full record of straight up wild tracks with crazy beats and him yelling his head off over them it would be a totally different and exciting record, but it's just not. Njomza does Her best Rihanna impression on "Hate to Love" but it is far from anything Queen Ri Ri has done. This whole record just feels like an imitation masquerading as an original thought and that zaps all the confidence and creativity right out of the record. The albums closer "Alone" is this hazy mess, with almost no point or direction what so ever. There is just to much of that on this record for it to be successful. Chance the rapper set the world on fire with his record, but his buddies have churned out dull record after dull record since and Towkio is just another link in the chain.
4.0 out of 10