Image via Unsplash.
Playlist image
When the current song has ended you'll see it here
Indie Shuffle App
FREE — On Google Play
Indie Shuffle App
FREE — On iTunes
Apr 27, 2016

Louisville rapper-singer Bryson Tiller is continuously adding to the veritable heap of accolades he has amassed over the past year. The latest is the certification of his debut album, T R A P S O U L, as a platinum selling project. The fast rising star took to Instagram to announce the achievement, writing: "T R A P S O U L is officially a Platinum Album. words cannot explain how i feel. thank you if you bought this, you changed my life." 

Tiller's is a remarkable story, rising from relative Kentucky obscurity into the good graces of Drake and industry tastemakers within a matter of months; almost entirely off the back of his indisputably ear-worming "Don't". 

However, though the numbers are colossal, dive into the singer's scant catalogue and there is surprisingly little to digest:

Tiller is the PBR of new age R&B, an unoriginal but passable version of something we love - shamelessly defended by a pack of oddly impassioned, obnoxiously trendy, dad-hat sporting devotees. Let's call it what it is, empty calorie hedonism backed by generic trap-flavored instrumentals and a direct from Tumblr packaged aesthetic. 

At its best T R A P S O U L is unchallenging background noise, blending seamlessly at a laid back function of Malibu socialites or as the soundtrack to disappointing sex. Bryson is The Weeknd-lite, female riddled, base, desirous, only absent the one compelling piece of Abel's work: his inescapable, unquenchable, inner-torment.

Pen Griffey is simply utterly devoid of any vestige of gripping lyricism, despite his frequent attestations to the contrary.

"I gave your bitch a third of my dick, she want the trilogy / She feeling me / Never met nobody real as me"

Unless a string of PARTYNEXTDOOR throwaways are what you've been craving, there's very little of anything here, only repetitious references to adorned vapidity crooned within a limited range, and borrowed suite of cadences.

After all of this, Tiller inarguably has a knack for hit-making and sharp pop songwriting, evidenced by his easily repeatable hooks and digestible structures.

So I'm not saying you're wrong to occasionally binge on Tiller's brand of PBR&B, but I am questioning why this startlingly uninventive, and frankly unimpressive, body of work has garnered such commercial success. Is it the sheer accessibility of it? A little label conspiracy? Probably a bit of both.

But I for one find it hard to reconcile Tiller's numbers with the seeming lack of consumer initiative to support almost any other music within this, or any other realm. To be clear, I don't begrudge Bryson Tiller his undeniable success, great for him, but shouldn't we be rewarding artists that actually endeavor to take some creative risks (seriously like even a single one), and adventure away from the comfortable well-worn paths many before have already walked. 

With literally endless quantities of music available to anyone willing to conduct a cursory search, why do we still settle for un-remarkability? Like your Freshman year philosophy class, I'm only prepared to pose these questions and can't necessarily offer a satisfying answer to them, so try to bear with me through the repeated rhetorical musings. Cool?

I guess what I'm trying to say here is this: stop rewarding middle of the road mediocrity music industry, be better, help all of us be better. Here's to hoping I don't hear "Don't" anywhere for the remainder of 2016. I doubt it.

Photo: Noisey

Bryson Tiller - Rambo (Remix Ft. The Weeknd)
PAGE 1/1