Do you ever listen to a song and feel like the floor dropped out from under you? That’s the vibe of 32, the latest project from Dallas artist T.Y.E. 32 weaves together highly dynamic production, intense verses, melodic and breathtakingly heavy lyrical swings, and eerie visuals (stream below). For this living interview, released over the span of five days, I will highlight various aspect of T.Y.E.’s work as a producer, a lyricist, a singer, visual artist, and a dope af freestyler.
I was originally going to use T.Y.E.’s latest release AR / Scared to highlight his rapping, because it blends his trap style with some of the eerie lyrical elements often found throughout his work. But when I hit him up for the lyrics, I learned he did this freestyle! All he penned were a few lines (see below). I was floored, but not surprised because I’ve seen him go off-the-top. He is that good.
When listening to track, notice the switch up, his ad libs, and whispered vocals – a bit of a glimpse into the uninhibited and tormented.
”Sacred sacrificial sucka fucka friendly fake ass niggas always speaking sour on another success, you already know who up next.
Silly superficial stupid hoes always sucking several niggas looking for a golden ticket but they gettin dubb checks, clout making all these sluts wet!
“I paint a picture that resembles my feelings.”
I chose Universe to illustrate T.Y.E.’s style as a producer. His instrumentals convey intimate emotions and swing from violently intense to self-reflective. He often uses powerful sounds. Universe, in particular, combines classical horns with raw percussion—of the type you might hear from someone playing a bass darbuka drum. As you listen, notice the switch up transitions the song from an objectification of women to a realization that it comes from a place of heart-break and the feeling of being incapable of having companionship.
I’ve selected Unusual to highlight T.Y.E.’s visuals. Like the majority of his visuals, Unusual was shot by Dallas videographer Dance Dailey. The Unusual visual acutely captures the intensity of the lyrics. The scenes will stay with you.
T.Y.E. is outspoken about promoting lyricism and the art of performance. Earlier this year he started the #DallasLyricistChallenge, which challenged rappers from Dallas to bring their game. There was a flurry of submissions on Twitter, IG, and Facebook. Check out T.Y.E.’s discussion of what sparked him to pose the challenge in the first place.
Now as promised, T.Y.E. is on second lyricist challenge, which I recorded while helping host him in NYC. (Side note, this was on the fly, essentially a warm up before a long studio session). Here it is:
To close, I wanted to mention T.Y.E.’s upcoming album. It’s a love story. I had the opportunity to hear it, in its mostly complete state. T.Y.E. described it as a cycle of “Heartbreak, depression, and hoe” (referring to himself). I thought the album—especially the singing and instrumentals (including T.Y.E. on the piano)—was lovely and heart-breaking (that’s a theme of his). Before he played the last song, I said “wait, is this going to traumatize me?” because there were several intensely sad stories.