If you’re only recently getting your head around really good Australian hip hop, you’re not alone. In the last few years specifically, the Australian hip-hop scene has caused a fierce uprising with new talents such as Remi, One Day, Thundamentals and UV Boi holding the heavy torch that is putting the country on the worthy and punchy rap map. It is no surprise then, that Zimbabwe-born and Australian grown Tkay Maidza now be at the forefront of such a rapidly expanding sector in the industry. Adding to this, her debut album, TKAY, serves as a soulful party dream. Executed and displayed with a fiery pressure and physical organisation, it’s humbled in an artistic rawness that demands sharp attention.
Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza has been scintillating on radio airwaves recently with her UK funky style of hip hop laced with grime factors. Since grabbing the attention of Nightslugs head honcho Bok Bok, Maidza’s refreshing approach to hip hop has blossomed well into her respective debut feature full length. The record begins with a blasting conquest, as Always Been smacks about an abrasive and blazing vocal force. This moves into a more radio-friendly number with Afterglow; a familiar sub-bass haven with electronica fusion qualities that grants a faint hook and memorable synth enlargement. Further convincing evidence propels forward featuring Atlanta-based Killer Mike on support contracts – stomping through as industrial drums and a ruffian bass-line splutter in Carry On. This visceral and untamed momentum claims the entirety of the record, with tracks like Tennies gaining a knifelike perceptive and clearer cerebral attack. Quick raps and a heavily glossy in this instrumental gyrate around Tkay’s acute vocal characters, before a heavier 4×4 murderous bassline in Monochrome, celebrates a crowd-pleasing relationship and dance floor seriousness. Then there are the melted tracks like Follow Me that showcase a peachier, and mellow attraction; highlighting Tkay’s well-centred Solange-esque singing points.
Finally, At Least I Know reinforces the dynamic beauty of this truly inventive debut record, leaving the listener marvelling at the buoyant mystique riddled throughout this four-minute neo-garage, 2-step beast. If TKAY is anything to go by, then Australian music is indeed in very trusting hands. The album is a formative outline of contemporary innovation and blooming musical confidence that spills from each track. Expect more head turning points from Tkay Maidza, but for now, absorb in the grandness that her debut album so properly commands.