Let’s face it you will be hard pressed to find another artform or genre of music as homophobic and or sexist as hip hop. We have all heard the lyrics, dissing women and calling them all sorts of names under the sun, and yet we still listen. Fact; hip hop is young, abrasive, rebellious and aggressive in most of it’s elements. It is dominated by young black men (as far as artists go), these being mostly uneducated working class types who live in the ghettos (apologies for the stereotype but a spade is a spade). A large of proportion are not to be confused with role models or fatherly types and all of this in a land where these male rappers are a minority in the greater demographic. Excuse me if one gets a little confused in this ‘game’ of the pot calling the kettle black.
So where am I going with all of this? Well my point is that I see it as a case of bullying and that platform makes it very difficult for female emcees to get into the game.So when one comes along, a good one at that, you know they possess a whole lot of character, considering the hoops and prejudices they have had to come through.
Tiff The Gift
Believe it or not but female rappers were once an integral part of hip hop. How I long for those days. This brings me to the subject of one Tiff the Gift, a female rapper who reminds me of those long gone days I feen for. Tiff for me is a throwback, a good retro in these ringtone and materialistic hip hop times. She certainly takes me back to a time when good female emcees were an essential part of our artform. I’m talking of a time, before Hollywood, when Queen Latifah was a rapper, a time when you could hear an MC Lyte or a Monie Love record on the radio. So it goes without saying that fans of Latifah, Monie, Lyte, the rapping Lauryn Hill, our own Ms Dynamite, Foxy Brown may like what they hear with this offering. Jill Scott fans too might like Tiff’s take on relationships.
On this record Tiff does all the simple things well. The beats selection (ask Nas fans about that) is just right with no risks taken and there is a clarity to her voice that sits very well with me. Her hooks are just right too and true to the album title, the vibe is calm and chilled. The pace of the album hardly changes from the first track, which is also the title track. ‘Dawson’s Creek’ was an instant favourite as is ‘Punch In’ featuring the ever impressive Jean Grae.
[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/04-Dawsons-Creek.mp3″ text=”Tiff The Gift – Dawson’s Creek” dl=”0″]
Cool, Calm, Chill is not overly long, 11 songs in all actually and I found myself pressing play again pretty quickly. The subject matter was refreshing as it wasn’t all about guns, gangs, drugs or constant one upmanship over material gains. I have to say it pays to have a woman’s perspective on things every now and then and hip hop certainly needs it. The gift that Tiff possesses is in the lyrics, both in clarity and in delivery. One need only to listen to a single song on this album to realise that this here MC knows what they are doing without the glitz and the glamour and I’m not saying that as a bad thing. It is very much as Tiff intended and for that I applaud. Look out for ‘Celestial Sunshine’ and ‘Utter Silence’.
Buy “Good, Calm, Chill” On DigiCrates
[easyreview title=”Word Is Bond Rating” cat1title=”Lyrics” cat1detail=”Lyrics and issues relevant to today.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Production” cat2detail=”Cool and mellow” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Originality” cat3detail=”Refreshing subject matter” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Replayability” cat4detail=”Easily replayable” cat4rating=”3.5″ summary=”Tiff got that gift alright”]