One thing I’ve learned about music albums is that, making one is not an easy process. Rather, it is a gruesome process that involves countless sleepless nights. It goes without saying that artists pour out their heart, brain, spleen and whatever vital organ it takes for the production of a half-decent project.
However, listening to an album is quite the opposite, all you have to do is allow your self to be submerged in the depths of its deep blue waters and resist not its currents. And if it is deep enough, an album will reveal to you the treasures of the artist’s soul.
“Forever” by Tdk is no exception, in fact, if you’re a hard-core Hip Hop stan, this is the album for you. But then again, just like any other ocean, the album has its smooth waters and its rapids.
1. AYE “Aye” is the first song on this album and perhaps someone ought to say “Bon voyage” (Because of all ocean references I’ve been making). This track starts off with very calm energy as if to prime us for the turbulence rising. For a second there, it sounds like a Lofi Chill Hop kind of song. (But like a said, it’s only for a second – don’t come at me if you don’t hear it). This is the track with the highest stakes, in my opinion. This is the track can either make or trash our keenness. It is on this track, that we get acquainted with Tdk’s laid back but hoarse voice which surprisingly works for this joint, and because this is a trap album, of course, the trap snare comes through in the first song. The song is quite a solid tune and it’s safe to say we’re off to a decent start.
2. PATIENCE It terms of energy, there hasn’t been much of a change in the transition from the first song to this one. However, in terms of content, “Patience” is substantially packed. Tdk lays out the details of his journey over the not-too-overwhelming instrumental. That’s a plus because this imparts clarity to his spits. They’re so clear that when he made a Martin King Luther reference because he also “has a dream”, we picked it up and had no option but to stan. At this point, there are too many hints that “Forever” is a chilled (that would honestly make it too chilled, but then again that might be someone’s cup of tea).
3. HALIMA So, about that monotony… it does not exist. Halima takes us to a completely different town, known as Partyville (it’s a real place, look it up). Halima is quite a special jam, mainly because its the first song on the album with a feature (Darrel), and because it has an afro-pop vibe, which kind of steers the ship back to the motherland. So yeah, we certainly cannot calm down. This song is a splash of positive juice and it showcases how multifaceted Tdk can be. I’m quite confident that I’ll revisit this song several times. Quotable Lyrics “You had a chance to play me but you paused”.
4. GOLD CHAINS “Gold Chains” is exactly how you’d expect a song of that title to be; braggadocious chants coupled with very loud bass (one can never have too much bass). The marimba touch on the instrumental is surprisingly not out of place and actually refreshing. It is the kind of song you’d expect to have more than one artists on it but we’re not about that predictability life, apparently.
5. I DON’T NEED YOU Suddenly the mood descends down an octave with this one. In fact, it becomes ominous AF as “I Don’t Need You” emanates serious Gotham feels. This factor is not only brought about by the instrumental but by Anga’s vocals on the hook as well (bet her phone is blowing up right now). Tdk, on the other hand, is not being economic with the aggression, but overall, the vibe of this song is somewhat peculiar.
6. FOREVER Why this track would be titled “Forever”, that I do get. However, it bewilders me as to why the whole album would be named after this track. I mean it is a decent song and all, it even has an instrumental with this ripple effect that kind of feels like its shredding your soul. Much like the concept of having to wait forever for someone. But it really doesn’t seem to be the consistent concept of the whole album (but that’s just me). If there’s one thing we’ve established so far, it’s that this is a trap album and so we’re not particularly surprised when Tdk rides the beat the best way trap artists do. Quotable Lyrics; “Ima try a different angle like its cos-sin”
7. FROM HERE “From Here” is quite the reserved ode, with low vitality. But my gosh, they must’ve had their creativity pants on when they produced this one. The instrumental is vastly stimulative, much like a deep dive. When the electric guitar solo which is beautifully complemented by that trap snare comes through, it’s a whole mindf*ck. The way this song is set up, it imparts a melancholic feeling such that you’d also wonder “where do we go from here” if you heard it. This is a very special song. A definite revisit!
8. CHANGE Considering the previous song, I feel like the change in energy should’ve been gradual. But once you’re past that, you’ll soon begin to appreciate the Cubana vibe in this song, which is fairly enlivening. You can still hear the trap snare muffled in the background in “Change”. When he said “if you wanna get killed by a rapper, it can be arranged” my hair curled up but simultaneously, I was amused. “Change” is quite the pertinent song like we need to address all the fakes, people who change over chump change.
9. SUNUNGUKA Clearly, belligerence is a common concept in this album and I hope being a stan does not make one a psychopath. “Sununguka” is one of the few songs with a feature and it seems fair that we make the comparison. On this song, Tdk brought along a very peculiar “Dough Major” with a very distinctive form of rap. The bass is momentarily stripped as Dough Major slides in and it catches up with him at his peak (its dynamics like this that we live for). It’s only right to appreciate how he keeps his form local. Basically “Sununguka” is your average trap song, hence poetic innuendos have been kept to a minimum.
10. HOW IT GOES It has become a standard that all the poetry is reserved for the outro of the album, which is a bewildering phenomenon because what if we don’t make it that far? “How It Goes” is vastly emotional, and it has segments which can be mistaken for meditation. There’s a deep message embedded here and there are lines where he even breaks into prayer. “How it goes” is an easy on the ear spiritual ode and the vitality in this song is the opposite of that of the intro. If we’re being honest, we’ve heard appalling outros and this one is not one of them.
To conclude; the album is one of a chilled nature, perhaps even too chilled. This was an endurable 30-something minutes and the album is definitely beyond passable. And as a bonus it was not overwhelmed by features, which kind of ensures that identity is not lost “From Here” and “Halima” really stood out for me, although there is a handful of good songs in “Forever”. Tdk has a distinctive and diverting manner of conveying his message, that really grows on you as you continue listening to the album. Like I said earlier on, if you’re a hard-core Hip Hop stan, this is the album for you.