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Album Review

British MC Ty's vocal delivery is smooth, soulful, and relaxed with clear diction, a self-deprecating sense of humor, and little indication of anger or braggadocio; the accompanying beats are tasteful, crisp, melodious, stylistically diverse, generally laid-back, and sometimes mixed to resemble funk more than typical hip-hop; the literate lyrics mention Brian Eno and address topics such as sexual politics without resorting to misogyny or mean-spiritedness; and Ty even recalls the school bully without fantasizing about violent revenge. In other words, Awkward is an early contender for politically correct hip-hop album of the year. That doesn't mean that it's a bad album, however, since there's no rule that an MC has to drop offensive lyrics to be good. Ty has enough technique to make it seem like he's rhyming even when he isn't, and while some may consider the album too mellow and perhaps even somewhat bland, it does have enough musical variety to keep it interesting, ranging from Eric Appapoulaye's rock guitar on songs such as "The Nonsense" to the guest French MC and African music influence on "Zaibo."


Born: 17 August 1972 in London, England

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Mild-mannered British rapper Ty lacks the ragga flow and quick patois of most rappers from the Big Dada label; he's more the big brother, with clever, mature themes that commonly go far beyond the usual shot-callers involved in rap music. Born Ben Chijioke in London to Nigerian immigrants, Ty began recording during the mid-'90s, and appeared on tracks produced by IG Culture's New Sector Movement, MC Mell 'O', DJ Shortee Blitz, and DJ Pogo. He also hosted a hip-hop night called Lyrical Lounge, and...
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Awkward, Ty
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