The 'Blond' influence is strong in this one..
Stand out Tracks: "Penelope," "New Chain," "Stories," "Malibu Sleep."
Release Date: November 3rd, 2017
Residing from London, England, emerging artist Col3trane released his impressive debut mixtape titled, Tsarina setting the bar high. Apart from his mixtape, he's appeared on SG Lewis' single "Smart Aleck Kill" where he raps on the dreamy and futuristic production. The artist who finds the middle ground between rapping and singing drawing influence from Frank Ocean's flow presents a small body of work worth the listen. His debut mixtape dropped November 3rd and is made up of 10 tracks difficult to un-hear the Odd Future crooner comparisons, though Col3trane's beat selection is sonically much more industrial hip-hop.
Tsarina opens with the title track, "Tsarina," introducing the mixtape as one about love and loss. Tsarina which is the name for a Russian empress is described by Col3trane as an unforgettable girl rapping "If I call you my Tsarina
ain't nobody ever gon' forget about you." The opening track sets the theme of the mixtape introducing his melodious rapping flow. "Penelope" is one of the singles off the mixtape singing in harmonies analogous to Frank Ocean's Blond, but halfway through ditching the harmonies for some straight bars. You can watch the music video for "Penelope" here. "Momma Bear" stays within the pocket of rapping and singing for a mellow track drawing attention to the water-drop production cutting the tension built up by the heavy track. "Malibu Sleep" is another track with direct similarities to the Odd Future crooner. The start of the song features simplistic production highlighting the singing/rapping making for one of the stand outs off the mixtape. The mixtape shifts to the following song, "X.X." for a dramatic and hasty sound like Col3trane's time is running out with this girl (or who ever he's talking to). Col3trane continues with the theme of woman empowerment by naming his only interlude track on the mixtape "Marie Antoinette." The short interlude opens with french speaking paying homage to the Queen of France transitioning to a short drum and bass ending. "Mario Kart" brings the mellow sound back with xylophone production, but keeping kick drums for the hip-hop feel. "New Chain" hones the laid-back guitar strums for Col3trane's debut single that put him on the map. The new chain symbolizes wanting change in his life because the current situation just isn't working anymore. "Language" holds the only feature on the mixtape bringing in singer Ebenezer to share his own singing flow. The track isn't about languages, but the dilemma that couples face coming from two different worlds trying to make a world together work. Col3trane highlights the difficulties of connecting with someone at the same time as focusing on your career. "Outside" which closes the mixtape shows Col3trane fed up and sacrificing love for his career.
Facing a changing lifestyle and early sacrifices, Col3trane delivers a mixtape that gives us a glimpse into his life; pledging a life in music. I hear someone who's hungry for success and is ready to put his personal life on hold to chase his dream. It's nice to see an artist keep a similar theme throughout the whole tape especially in hip-hop where rappers are building albums out of singles, but Tsarina is an honest glimpse into Col3trane's come-up. Stay tuned for the singer/rapper's debut album in the future.
"I wanted a new chain
A new everything
I'm feeling like loose change
I lose everything
Straight trippin' off crew love
That new, new, love
Go in for a tune up
But I came in with you"