The inauguration of the 44th president Barak Obama is by far the biggest ticket this side of the century, especially in Washington D.C. itself.
But quietly, another African-American gets ready to celebrate his own introduction within the boarders of the Nation’s Capitol.
Washington native by way of West Africa Tabi Bonney (pronounced bo-NAY) first made headway with his debut album A Fly Guy’s Theme and singles ‘The Pocket’ and ‘Doin’ It’ featuring Neo-Soulster Raheem Devaughn back in 2006. Fast-forward to 2009, and you’ll find his sophomore effort simply titled Dope.
In an era where Hip-Hop is thirsty for originality and creativity, Tabi Bonney’s Dope is definitely that tall drink of water that will quench your dehydration, and keep you coming back for refills.
Defining the true meaning of an ‘artist’ by sounding like nobody but himself, Tabi puts together a solid collection of eclectic grooves, complimented by sonic backdrops, and topped off with his effortless flow.
The project gets underway with Reggae-dub vibe of ‘The Blow,’ followed by ‘Go Hard,’ which sets you up for the Old-School feel of ‘Duhh,’ ending with the fast-paced and harmonizing sounds of ‘Radio.’
On it, Tabi Bonney shows that his metaphor game is well worth a listen, “Get my jockstrap out the locker/I crush ‘em proper/for those that slept on me, I’m handing out these fresh pajamas/Tabi comma/When’s your next album coming out, I don’t like I can wait much longer/Period thank you/I’m tired of these other MC’s/Bottom line, they just ain’t you.”
From there, he proves that he’s ‘No Sucker,’ while managing to solidify himself as a ‘Jet Setter’ with the help of quirky and warped synthesizers, “Lazy boy flow/and I don’t just wear it, I play Polo/Hello/Tabi Bonney, goodnight/And these ain’t Nikes, Yamamoto/Fashion whore/My closet is a store/Enjoy.” Other well-chosen tracks are ‘Kick Rocks,’ ‘Rich Kids,’ and ‘Rock Bammas.’
Tabi Bonney’s Dope is the perfect title for his second go-around, as it displays a format that a lot of artists have gotten away from. Where many of his peers are terrified to step out of the box and try something different for fear of being dropped from a record label that’s robbing them regardless; or just worried about losing fans, Tabi Bonney didn’t take any of that into account, as he constructed a project that has no trace of anything else out there but himself.
No Auto-Tune, no over-the-top forced collaborations or posse cuts, and no use of unnecessary explicit lyrics? Now that’s “dope.”