So what’s the big deal? Normal name, normal looking, normal sounding R&B guy. Arms tatted up and rocks a
fitted cap most of the time. Nothing really special right? WRONG. Let’s take a closer look shall we? It went a
little something like this…picture it…
The Emergence Of Bryson Tiller
“Girl he only fucked ya over cause ya let him!” This one line perhaps sums up the entire feel of R&B sensation
Bryson Tiller’s debut album TRAPSOUL. The EP released in October 2015 seems to bring a new flavor to the R&B
culture. It has a silky smooth modern sound, as refreshing as I’ve heard in a long time. Even as a new artist, Tiller
is already exhibiting the self- awareness and understanding of change that fame brings. For example, on the track
titled For However Long, he serenades smoothly over an old Jodeci beat “There’s some bad bitches that I wanna sex
up, but they’ll probably only let me fuck cause I’m NEXT up.” On another standout song entitled Right My Wrongs,
which is probably his most honest song, he is at his absolute best. When he croons “How can I right my wrongs?
Recognition is what you want and it’s something I should know.”
Not bad for a 23 year- old kid from Louisville, who was working at Papa John’s and living out of his car one year
ago. Yes that right, just one year ago. But you see this is the magnificence of Bryson Tiller. It’s his ability to
convey honesty and realness from a male point of view but in a non- threatening way. This is fully evident
throughout his whole album. Just listen to the laid back sing along flow of Sorry Not Sorry. He hits you with lines
such as “I can’t let none of these niggas get one up on me.”, “Girl if you don’t get the fuck from me, I know you
thought we had something special, but you don’t mean nothing to me.” “Girl I’m sorry but you not the one for me,
but don’t settle for less or infidelity.” Lyrics such as these show you his ability to explain how he feels in a gentle
but truthful way. At times his hooks can seem a tad bit redundant in nature to other male singers in the game, but
even so his versatility is simply impeccable.
And speaking of versatile artists did I mention his good friend Drake is already a big fan of his too? It’s a well-
known fact that the Cash Money protégé was the first to take notice of Bryson Tiller, and wanted to sign him to his
OVO label before anyone ever knew his name. Yep, he had the 6 God’s blessing before even having two top 10
singles on the Billboard 200 charts (Don’t and Exchange) but we will talk about those later. Tiller pays homage to
Drizzy on the track Overtime, which is not a standout but highlights what is so special about the Kentucky native’s
unique ability. He uses a female voice as if they are in conversation much like Drake has on numerous songs. Okay
so he copied one time. We forgive you Bryson! Fitting right? Fitting indeed.
In an exclusive interview done with Boombox.com, Tiller was asked where his inspiration came from? I feel like
his answer tells you exactly who he is. His first response was the love of his one year old daughter Harley. He
elaborated on how she keeps him going. And is able to keep him head strong. He explained how his passion for
music started at the age of just 15. He then went on to talk about the influence of rapper Kanye West, referencing a
bad accident he was in right before his first hit single “Through the Wire” came out. Tiller tells the story of his
extreme lifestyle change, going from one week living out of his car recording songs in his best friend’s apartment, to
two weeks later buying a $600 computer and desk then writing and recording what would be his first major
breakthrough song titled Don’t, which would go on to be one of biggest R&B singles of the year.
After reading that interview, I knew this wasn’t just some dumb kid with a pipe dream. No Bryson Tiller operates
differently. He lost his mother at the age of 4, and was raised by his grandmother from that point on. Maybe this is
where his somewhat sensitive nature stems from. There is no doubt that this has contributed to the type of man
Bryson Tiller has become.
At a very tender age his sound is captivating. His expressions are precise and heartfelt, but not fake. He’s able to
show vulnerability without a fear of sounding soft or misleading. And that in essence is the beauty of TRAPSOUL.
“Don’t” is definitely the gem of the album but the song “Exchange” shows you what Bryson Tiller is really all
about. Not only is this my favorite track of the album because of its brilliant sampling of that 2001 jam “Would You
Mind” by Janet Jackson, but it’s mostly because in a genre of watered down R&B music filled with Chris Brown
wannabes, Bryson Tiller has found a way to stand out. And boy does he ever! Exchange is precisely what the game
needed. His flow is effortless. His style isn’t copied or forced. It’s just right. He has found a place to sit for the
time being. Except he won’t be sitting in that dam car for very long anymore. He’s going to be driving it! And it
won’t be to deliver any pizzas either! Because Bryson Tiller has arrived ladies and gentleman. The world of R&B
has found its new prince. And while he’s as innovative of an artist as I’ve seen in a while, I can’t wait to see how
much better he can be! And sorry but he’s not sorry ya’ll. Best believe that!!