Maidza shows off her creativity and talent in this latest EP
The concept of a genre in music is becoming more blurred every day. This is allowing more artists to emerge onto the scene as well as be creative without having to conform to the genre they plugged themselves into. For Australian-Zimbabwean rapper Tkay Maidza, this is the perfect way to continuously craft her sound as her career begins to take off. She made waves in 2016 with her debut album, Tkay, which brought a sound reminiscent of M.I.A, Lorde and Santigold that has a direction of electro-rap party songs. In 2018, the drop of Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 1, gave people a Little Simz-esque trap-RnB. Now onto the second installment of the Last Year Was Weird trilogy, Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2, displays the confidence and creativity Maidza has gained over the years.
The neo-soul track, “My Flowers,” kicks off the EP/mixtape as Maidza questions life as an enigma. Eventually coming to the realization that it isn’t something to understand and is just meant to be embraced and lived. Following that is the upbeat, electro-rap “24K” where she toys with the idea of who she is and not allowing people to question, judge or engage with her during a time of happiness. “Shook” comes as the single off the tape. The minimal but bouncy beat allows Maidza to rhyme effortlessly with speed and clarity. “Awake” comes in with a heavy and grimey trap beat similar to that of UK drill. Featured on it is JPEGMAFIA, who matches the vibe of the beat well. When asked about the song, she tells Apple Music, “It feels like we turned another corner with this song, in terms of reintroducing myself. When we made that song, the perception of how I see myself has manifested itself also into a song, and when we released it I was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’”
“Grasshopper” kicks off the second half of the album with the same energy the previous track gave. Maidza uses the hard and dark beat to play around with different flows. “You Sad” is a big contrast as it introduces soft guitars and melody voicing the emotions involving moving on. “PB Jam” is a funky, lo-fi production where Maidza uses peanut butter and jelly as a metaphor for wanting to feel free. Her voice over the track is just as smooth, as her singing is the main focus this time around. The final track, “Don’t Call Again,” features Kari Faux. The funk-infused, neo-soul production gives Maidza permission to talk about doing what’s best for her in the long run. The two artists together bring flows and vocals that melt over the track, giving it a liberating culmination.
Tkay Maidza really gave herself the freedom to just explore her and her sound. Each song brings a different feeling and sound yet as a whole, mashes into a real cohesive tape. Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2, is just a glimpse into what Maidza has coming next. The raw talent is being to become more and more exposed, making the anticipation for the next project more evident.