To the North-West of the lower East Coast, there sits a flat valley amidst the rolling hills and rivers. Among Ye Olde Ohio, this place is the Gem City, the birthplace of Funk, and the central setting to which our protagonists today reside. Its Name? Dayton.
TINO and K.Carter, each coming off of album releases within the past year, often relate on messaging when it comes to mapping out their tracks. TINO follows up with Past Due, a sequel to his 2013 EP “Friendly Reminder”, which shows the sheer victorious feeling of coming up, keeping with a constant on inspiring messages while also sharing the realities he both grew up in and those that continue to infect the nation’s core to this day. K.Carter shifts in from the nerdier side, dropping the almost self-titled 2021 collection which in turn comes ahead of 2019’s NBX, an album that attempts to reach the audience on newly broadened issues (“Ario”) while also keeping with the consciousness that made 2018’s R.A.P. both brutal yet refreshing.
Both meet in the middle, not only in their shared hometown pride for Dayton, but in their humorous hooks, blunt honesty in the state of politics & racial tensions, and desire to push themselves as well as the generations coming up toward a better future. It is then no wonder how the two came together for the eye-opening imagery and conscious realism as seen by them that makes up the six tracks of “Safe Money”.
Off the cuff, listeners will get hit with an immediate high note in the title single, “Safe Money”, a celebration of success and an ode to the path each treaded to achieve in order to live in this moment. “Mimosas”, the skit-like hit of the collaboration, plays like a 3rd-person perspective between the two friends about their breakfast escapades with an absolute gem that knows how to enjoy her life without attachments (“She don’t really need love, she just wants to have fun.”). It is hard not to love the funk guitar riffs and chimes laced into the track, inviting listeners to be a part of the entourage, all while absorbing the tribute the duo makes here to their area’s lineage.
Some of the best tracks here are also the ones that ring in the rawest in their honesty, with “Way I Feel” being a canvas for the duo to lay out their realities of being black in America (“I wish I could use racist in the past tense/cops killing unarmed black men is tragic”), along with the ironic twist of ease how some of our media will attempt to make the fallen the villain, all cemented in the song’s hooks (“imagine being murdered and then defamed for your death”). “Hold Your Head” hits different, as the speakers seem to not only talk to the audience, but to their younger selves, alluding to how even when personal barriers were broken, the words and events from the past still echo.
Possibly the best piece of the collection has to be “Opulence”, in which the duo relates to how it might be easy to just live in their hometown, but stressing how large the world is compared to what people might realize. The message hits twice as hard as halfway through the track, a 2nd act takes hold and listeners are given visions through an audible world tour while the beat slows down, hitting hard in order to provide the chilled-down imagery, each sight made more believable through the men’s experiences.
Between K.Carter and TINO, there are multiple sides to both that makes each distinctive from the other. The creation of “Safe Money” amplifies those traits and perspectives, allowing the duo to kick back that much harder and dive deeper into social topics as well as their own experiences. The ending to the EP is as important, if not more so, than the beginning in that there is so much further to go, and that conscious ears should both celebrate their successes along with aim at climbing higher. This collaboration record elevates the spirit, does not stray from what there is to face day to day, and looks forward to a brighter future.
The Story is More Than Just The Collaboration ~ Listen In On The Latest From Each Of These Artists
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