Saturday April 20th, 2024
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TUL8TE Goes Pop on Debut LP ‘TESH SHABAB’

Rapper and producer TUL8TE unveils his debut 10-track LP, centred around themes of love and heartbreak.

Omar Ghonem

TUL8TE Goes Pop on Debut LP ‘TESH SHABAB’

Enigmatic Cairene rapper and producer TUL8TE unveils his inaugural full-length LP entitled 'TESH SHABAB', eschewing his aggressive rap delivery in order to present a 10-track album centred around themes of love and heartbreak.

Since his emergence with the release of his debut EP 'ANONYMOUS' in early 2023, TUL8TE has solidified his status as one of the most promising figures in the regional rap scene. Co-founding the label and collective BADINVSTMENT with Lege-Cy, ElNasser, and others, he has engaged in strategic collaborations, reinforcing his unconventional approach to hip-hop, including partnerships with Lege-Cy and Hady Moamer.

Though typically characterised by aggression and nonchalance, the rapper adopts a wholly distinct demeanour throughout his new LP, both sonically and lyrically. Delving into his emotions, he explores adolescence, young love, and fractured relationships, narrating these tales with heartfelt delivery. The tracks are accompanied by guitar-driven instrumentation, which are characterised by his distinct drum lines and subtle synth insets.

Featuring Egyptian singer Sarah on the opening track, TUL8TE utilises her vocals to establish the tone of the record. A down-tempo, dreamy instrumentation is unveiled as TUL8TE reminisces over a cherished love, complemented by Sarah’s sweet vocals. The track serves as a surprise intro, giving us a nod into what we’re about to experience. In ‘LAMA BTETGANEN’, he delivers a blend of indie-pop and hip-hop with an acoustic guitar-driven beat layered by a laid-back drum pattern, resulting in an ear-candy pop piece.

Throughout the record, TUL8TE doesn’t execute his usual multi-layered, complex production. Instead, the rapper exudes simplicity with light sonic elements centred around extensive guitar samples provided by M.Khfage, a notable guitarist within the hip-hop scene known for his long-time collaboration with Lege-Cy.

The sequencing of the tracklist crafts a cohesive narrative of a relationship, encompassing its highs and lows, dreams, arguments, eventual break-up, and sweet beginnings. Tracks like ‘TESH SHABAB’ delve into the dynamics and intersections of the relationship, while others like ‘MESH BENA’ featuring Egyptian Nadeen, portray a dialogue between two lovers, sharing experiences in an ongoing conversation. 'LEH DAH HASAL (INTERLUDE)' captures a familiar argument without sung lyrics.

In ‘TOOLATE’, TUL8TE shows how the relationship has impacted him and his decision to remain anonymous, indifferent to whether anyone listens. While the album defies categorization as solely hip-hop, it showcases TUL8TE's diverse musical approach and willingness to take risks, highlighting his evolving nature and songwriting prowess, while presenting a cohesive narrative that delves into the emotional struggles of an enigmatic persona who opts to stay hidden.

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