It’s urban knowledge Tee Phlow is one of the most important local Hip hop statements of the last few years.
From working on highly talkable content to nudging an army of equally talented MCs who came in sight year on year, he’s worked his way into a decent base who pass for Phlow addicts.
In the last quarter of 2016, he enjoyed what is yet, his biggest media activity after going mainstream; he exited The Last Two Music Group and subsequently signed onto Spyder Lee Entertainment, featured on Sarkodie’s ‘Trumpet’ to great reviews and gigged major: Rapperholic, Bar Concert et al.
On the back of all that activity comes New Era, his first official single post Spyder Lee paperwork.
New Era is the rapper’s reunion with himself. It is the Tee Phlow of old, present and the future. It is the Tee Phlow who manipulates words that are meant to be one and the same thing.
While with New Era you can easily remind yourself of Sarkodie/Obrafour’s ‘Life’, it is the how technique in this, that makes it more than just a beat being laid and a young soul fidgeting. What Phlow does is to – as early as 30 seconds into the song – erase any form of auditory hallucination or perceiving sounds you may have, and switches it up, a notch. And that is why he is such a talent.
When he enters into the Phlow zone, there is no looking back; he leaves competing rappers for dead. In their tracks.
If there is any doubt about Phlow’s rap game, on New Era, he comes clean with a cutting, size-less form of – also enviable – baskets of bars that are so yummy they can be Cadbury and Kingsbite at the same time.
In settling on a theme, New Era went along the lines of recent compositions by other younglings, where braggadocio and who’s got the best bars proved ultimate shopping carts. Phlow joins in on the party and gate-storms his way through a guest list that previously had Worlasi, and all the cats who featured on the Trumpet; Koo Ntakra, Medikal, Strongman, Donzy and Pappy Kojo claiming arrival status with Hip Hop flight boarding passes to show.
But Phlow dishes an even bigger beef with New Era.
Phlow’s real beef as he explains some 57 seconds into the song, was sliced, steamed, nutmegged, and cooked on his claim to fame as a crack Fante MC. And he did the dishing while still fasting, he says, and only went for the kill when it became obvious too many not-fits and mockups were calling themselves something other than worse rappers who can’t string together, basic rap rhymes to save their borrowed, faded hoodie lives. The posturing as he expands further, gets his goad, but also sees him claiming he’s been doing amazing lots of Sugar. Honey. Ice. Tea for years. That, you can also call braggadocio. What you can’t however say, is that Phlow isn’t credible.
Phlow is a wild cat. He is a problem; a big one with incredible street credibility that predates his Last Two days. He’s had success in the streets; long before both Malafaka and Onaapo became buzzwords.
And what he does with New Era is to cement that thought.
Produced by Ssnowbeatz, New Era has Phlow touching some nerves; those ones so deadly they can easily make him – as he predicts, public enemy number one – within the local Hip hop scene. As less reaching as his clout may seem now, he however refuses to be put away. He schleps through the 4 minutes, edgy-subject song with so much confidence and attitude if a struggling mainstream act had such dynamism, he would have been major by now.
There is validation aplenty in New Era. The song bows to Phlow’s creativity and offers him a seamless transition in between the well-baked bars. He achieves that beyond expectations that are categorical and also not too hard to know their instant quality.
And when he splutters intensity, he does it with so much volatility a lot of codes are moved at heights and levels that connote nuggets of wisdom. All in one man. All in one man. The Phlow man.
And by the time he is through savaging all those lazy, boob-sucking upstarts, there is a general consensus among the bars that “we did good; we predicted our enemies and took the war to them” as Phlow the Physicist – in New Era – taught us in The Warning (April, 2014).
Watch video for New Era, released December 31