Listening Sessions: Tunji Ige - Missed Calls EP

TunjiIge (May 12, 2016).JPG

Illustration by Seun Ajibola

A few weeks back, I was listening to a playlist on the music app Spotify and discovered a new artist by the name of Tunji Ige. He is a Philadelphia rapper born to Nigerian parents. The track was called “Bring Yo Friends” which is a derivative of the Juvenile song “Back that A** Up”. Prior to hearing Tunji’s version, Drake turned it into a ballad called “Practice”. The song by Drake was entertaining and focused primarily on using the production sample. On this track though, Tunji imitated the rhyme cadence. The track brought me back to the early 2000's when Juvenile and the Cash Money crew dominated the rap scene.  To hear him spit his verses with a New Orleans slang made me fan instantly. However, I am skeptical of his originality because his song is influenced by the relevant sound in current pop culture. This brings me to the mixtape he recently dropped last month titled “Missed Calls”. 

Missed Calls is an EP with six tracks with influences from trap music of Atlanta, the melodic vibe of OVO Sound and the youthful exuberance of the current rap industry. Tunji represents a form of post 808 and Heartbreak, in which the melodic vibe of the track overrides the lyrical importance on a record. The content lacks depth with regards to lyricism, however the production allowed Tunji to shine as a song maker.  There is predictability to the rhymes but the transition from track to track kept me engaged and I replayed the EP. There is a part of me that wants to give Tunji some time to develop his lyrical content but Tunji is simply more focused on being a great song maker than he is the next Rakim.

Overall, as a second EP, Missed Calls captures the essence of what Tunji hopes to accomplish. My favorite track on the album is called “War”, however, the song “22” is starting to grow on me as because of the subtle melodic hymns at the close of the track. The growing interest I have in his career got me to listen to his previous EP called “The Love Project”. There is a definite growth in the layering and consistency of the tracks on Missed Calls, thus showing the growth I like to see from young artists.