[April 18, 2016]
By Chadwyck Moore
Since releasing his debut mixtape The Love Project, Tunji Ige has stayed busy creating new music. His SoundCloud has stayed active releasing singles and showcasing his new experimentation as an artist. Fans were teased with songs like Black James Bond and Don’t do Too Much, his collaboration with ILOVEMAKONNEN. All of these releases from the rapper who started his music career as a college student- balancing class and concerts.
Tunji Ige releases his sophomore project, Missed Calls, following his hit single On my Grind. One such song was his hit single On My Grind which garnered over a million streams on his SoundCloud page and makes an appearance on the EP. Tunji has since teamed up with producer Noah Breakfast– one half of the former rap group Chiddy Bang– who boasts production credits for the likes of Big Sean, Ellie Goulding, and Wiz Khalifa.
Production of the EP was a joint effort, with War being the only track solely produced by Noah Breakfast. This production strays away from the layered sampling of The Love Project and instead aims for a spacey, melody driven, bouncing sound for the EP. These elements combine to create a warm, synthetically sweet tone for the songs.
The focus of the EP is to bring this sound forward, to showcase the new sound that Tunji has been exploring. This exploration shows Tunji’s development as an artist with him showcasing a desire to explore his vocal range and a more polished delivery. Tunji sounds more comfortable on the microphone, showing a noticeable improvement in lyrical skill.
This technical improvement is evident in On my Grind where he delivers an impressive second verse full of infectious alliteration like the two bar “On my worst behavior nigga feeling like Dahi/Probably singing lodi dodi with a Saudi/ I be counting oil money I ain’t have to join Illuminati”. These rhymes are all delivered over the choir like vocals and uplifting beat. On My Grind has Tunji present what his grind has produced. The instrumental is full, combining a hypnotic chant, catchy hook, and a thumping bass. The song is full of other quotables like “I be on my grind nigga I ain’t talking pop shuvits/And Im skating through jawns pulling rubbers out the cupboard”. A clear improvement in singing is present on the song with Tunji finding a great harmony with his voice and the beat.
The EP continues to attempt to match what On My Grind accomplished, the perfect blend of the sonic ingredients he chose to work with. This leads to some enjoyable tracks but only a few that truly stand out.
Bring Yo Friends is one such standout, having arguably the best chorus on the EP. The beat bounces, with the synth flourishing with the bop of the bass. The song begins with a warming invite and shifts into a slowed croon of the repeated chorus. Tunji uses a laid back delivery, bobbing with the beat switching into singing for the chorus. These parts combine to create a charming atmosphere for a memorable track.
Tunji also makes a nice slower song. War was the only track entirely produced by Noah Breakfast and it has a noteworthy spaciness. The instrumental embodies the longing that Tunji raps as it reaches into the world. The beat is infectiously empty, peaking only for the chorus, shifting from dark to bright. This combined with Tunji’s slow, robotic sing song delivery creates an enveloping track.
Missed Calls is not a perfect EP, four of the seven songs lack the replayability of Bring Yo Friends, On my Grind, and War. The EP shows a growth in Tunji’s skill as an artist, as he has now fine-tuned many of the sounds he was experimenting with in his first album. The songs flow well into one another, but this could also be due to many of the songs sounding too alike. All in all, the EP is an enjoyable listen with a few songs that will bring listeners back. Tunji Ige’s Missed Calls EP sparks interest in what more is to come from the artist as he has seemingly found the sound he wishes to craft.