The rise to prominence of young rap artist Tay-K is a fascinating study in the power that social media has in the music business these days. His song "The Race," which has only been bested by Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" as hip-hop's biggest Soundcloud hit of the summer, has taken the world by storm, to the point where recognized names like Lil Yachty have taken the track and done their own freestyle to it. Add to that being implicated in several murders and other crimes that has led to him being held in a Fort Worth, Texas penitentiary and you've got the makings of a lawless myth of a rapper, and Tay's only 17 years old.
Now comes his new mixtape called America Most Wanted, which is odd in its construction but compelling enough in spots to warrant at least one listen out of curiosity. Basically a collection of short singles that are each about two minutes in length, sometimes even less, the centerpiece of the tape isn't even a song at all, but a lengthy interview that Tay-K supposedly gave from jail. In and around that, the abbreviated musical offerings are hit and miss, but there are some moments where you can see the white-hot potential in Tay-K's flow and delivery. Those abilities really shine through on tracks like "Murder She Wrote" and "I Love My Choppa," where the instrumentals come with enough slap to make them party-ready while still retaining a decently street-sounding vibe. It's a polished sound, but still with at least a couple of toes in the Soundcloud rapper sound, which is still largely a DIY world.
One of the downsides of this mixtape is that it's not made up of entirely new material. Tracks like "Sly Cooper" and "Biff Xannen" have been in circulation on the Internet for a while now, so avid fans of Tay's probably won't be hearing all the songs on this tape for the first time. However, with questions surrounding his future as an emcee, this mixtape is a reminder of the talent that's led to his rise to prominence this year. Make sure you get the low-down on Tay-K's career so far here.
[Editor's Note: Management confirmed this is an unauthorized release, the stream has been removed]