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TNT Kenya: Hated Beloved EP Review

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After a longstanding string of single releases, TNT finally graces their fans with a long overdue body of work. Their latest project, an EP titled HATED BELOVED, dropped at midnight on 25th September this year and is their first release under their new label Quarry Boys Entertainment plus, at the risk of sounding bias was worth the wait. The artwork shows two halves of their faces cartoonized as the duality of good (Timmy) and bad (Twenny) and sets the stage for the various roles they play in the songs as well as – they say- their real life personalities. Stream and Download EP HERE

The project itself consists of only 4 songs and no features .The duo say they felt the need to release the project as such for a number of reasons but the main ones being that they wanted to allow the fans to enjoy the project in a way that made it easy to digest and the lack of features was done on purpose so that the duality and versatility of the group remains the main focus.

“Type Of Thangs” is a powerful opener. The song has the duo speaking on the things they value and importance of money. It doesn’t come off as being greedy though but rather a marker of not only their hard work but also their self-made success. In an industry that is hard to break into the monetary returns they receive only seem to push them harder and validate their choice of musical style and direction:

It’s also relatable in that many people in the world right now- especially those pursuing their passions- have no choice but to be successful and show that their hopes and dreams are worth something. A pressure that is clearly present in a line that repeats itself throughout the song and is even the outro:

 

The second song on the EP is titled “Lately” which is also the lead single off of the project. They often say success doesn’t change you but rather magnifies who you already are and TNT give a nod to this adage. They put importance on the fact that success is not what they value but rather the integrity and hard work it takes to get you there. They also give a shout out to one of their close companions (as they often do in much of their music) Danger “D” who was nothing but an avid supporter who unfortunately passed away. His support and importance to them sets the tone for the kinds of relationships they tolerate and their disdain for fake love and fake support:

The third song on the project is titled “New Shoes”. It’s a bit more laid back and focuses on the duo’s lifestyle. Particularly their love for the drank and giving themselves a break from the pressures of their career:

It also brings to the forefront the link between sneaker culture and its strong influence on hip-hop. Time after time, MC’s reference their favorite shoe selections or even the general idea of sneaker shoes and TNT now join the long list of artists to do so:

 

The final song on the EP titled “Real Niggas” explores a theme that has been prevalent throughout the rap duo’s career, which is their authenticity and undying dedication to their homies. Everything from their lyrics to even their videos highlights the fact that they are only as good as the genuine support that surrounds them. No need to get caught up with all the mess outside as this will only lead to unwanted disorder:

 

 

The project is something we’ve never heard from the duo before with a new experimental sound of melody rap that shows their style is evolving and is actually about not boxing themselves in sonically but still carries the same strong production that we have now come to expect from them. Even the attentive detail given to the artwork and video for the single “Lately” (among their previous other projects) shows that they not only embrace but also appreciate the different artistic fields that all come together to create a sensory driven project that is more of an experience than anything. TNT has often said they would like to be the foremost authorities for hip hop on the continent and this them taking it a step further and SHOWING us they are.

#YUNPLUGGED

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