The immensely talented and very humorous South London duo Too Many T’s released their 4th EP, Running Wild’ last month, consisting of 8 singles as well as a brief intro, a beatbox sample and a hilarious skit towards the end. They have, without a doubt, remained loyal to and perhaps exceeded their mission statement of drawing inspiration from the golden age of hip-hop.
‘The Realness’ brings with it some superb flows overlaying some particularly heavy breaks to provide the big first track of the EP. As one of the more serious tracks it sets the tone perfectly for the following tunes. For further reading, there is an academic paper of the same name published by the University of Pennsylvania. ‘”Tha Realness”: In Search of Hip-Hop Authenticity’ (2007) by Jonathan D. Williams seeks to answer such fundamental axioms of hip-hop such as “why is there such an emphasis on proving oneself to be authentic?” and whether authenticity and realness definitions are appropriate or adequate. All in a days reading for the scholars here at The Music Brewery.
The next song features Great Scott and is titled ‘Same Thing’. Another brilliant example of the pair’s ability to spit fast-flowing and intelligent rhymes, they describe some of their experiences getting into music whilst decrying a stereotype of their style of music, this time over an upbeat background tempo. As the chorus puts it, “man it’s a black thing, man it’s the same thing, don’t play the race card.”
Rapping over cuts by acclaimed funk and breaks DJ Featurecast is up next on the menu as the pair give ‘1992 Part ii’ a relaxed feel throughout the duration, before moving into the first of two skits featured in the album. ‘The Beatbox Collective’ does exactly what it says on the tin, delivering several short and very impressive beatbox samples alongside a cheeky shout out to Biggie by skilfully working in an edit of one of his lines.
‘Butter Rug’ is an absolutely phenomenal collaboration with MC Abdominal, Jester Jacobs, Kathika Rabbit, Lazy Habits and Parallax. It truly embodies everything about Too Many T’s devotion to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop and serves it excellently. Positive vibes pour from the foundation of the track; heavy beats and upbeat trumpets that demand recognition support the outstanding vocals. The chorus blasts “I love listening to hip-hop”, and any doubt remaining over the validity of this statement is quickly dispelled as the artists masterfully tell the story of how they were each influenced by the golden age – Run DMC receives particular mention for ‘Peter Piper’.
‘Running Wild’ offers a similar set-up with their trademark catchy choruses, positive vibes and great backing breaks. Just before the final two singles, surrounding the topic of narcotics, we have the second skit which will have you in stitches. ‘Simon’ is a rowdy northern bloke, presumed to be their agent, who blasphemes and abuses the two guys for not focussing enough of their material on high-selling content such as “drugs and bitches”, instead choosing to make “sugar-coated candyfloss bullshit”, to the artists’ meek protests. ‘Wish I Never’ and ‘Smoking Goodies’ go some way to address these shortcomings, with very clever and tongue-in-cheek lyrics regarding certain illegal substances.
This album completely embodies the sounds of the golden age of hip-hop with faultless (and hilarious) delivery. At the very least, you NEED to listen to ‘Butter Rug’, but I imagine it will only spur you to more and more of their content. The website is funky and funny – a great way to describe these talented artists once more.