South London is a breeding ground for introspective trap beats and urban poetry; YS Tekdinner has been somewhat of a pioneer in the movement, driving the scene forward in arm with his brother Master Peace. The second in his ‘Tekdinner Time’ mixtape series, this project comes after a period of frustration for the rapper, who has experienced tribulations and even a short stint in prison, halting his artistic development, but on the contrary, giving him new tales to tell. Compared to previous releases, this tape enlists a multiplicity of genres, dabbling in afrobeats and garage as well as the spacey trap instrumentals we’re familiar to hearing YS on.
The R&B inspired intro fades scintillatingly into a Benjiflow-esque spanish guitar-led melody, which accommodates the raspy, devilish delivery of Tekdinner surprisingly well. Transitioning into the lively ‘What’s He Like’, the track sounds equally off an old Super Mario game as it does the preferred production of Atlanta trapper Young Thug. It is evident that (nicknamed) 12 has been sifting through beat packs galore, carefully selecting tunes that stretch his flows and vocal delivery.
Previously released, ‘Stepped Out’ uses tongue and cheek, aspirational lyricism to form a naturally visceral trap banger. Tekdninner’s flow isn’t too dissimilar, at points, to House Of Pharaohs’ BlazeYL on this cut; its skippy, bouncy rhythm is a pleasing switch up on the project. Contrastingly, 'Exams' sees the rapper roaring “Fuck an exam” on the tune’s hook, but its context is a lot deeper than just a socially mutual hatred for school tests. The track sees YS at his most vulnerable on the tape, expressing a willingness to run away from responsibilities and the priorities he should be pursuing.
Nostalgia runs throughout the tape. With the variety of influences inferred on the project, it could easily be a soundtrack to the rapper's childhood; the illustrious list of producers cement this vibe organically and allow the project to flow. From Modulist to Omari Lyseight, and even the Slowthai, Greentea Peng and Dream McLean collaborator Earbuds, the impressive index of beat makers cleverly conform to the tape’s intimate nature and produce some contagious instrumentals.
The only vocal feature on 'Tekdinner Time Vol.2' is brother Master Peace. After the success of ‘Carni’, 12’s single that pays homage to Nottinghill Carnival, it was no surprise that the percussive, breakbeat rhythms of U.K. garage found a space on this new project. ‘FYI’ is the track in question - the chemistry YS and Peace accentuate on this cut is quite phenomenal. ““FYI, you’re looking like a sort tonight. Let me come home with you” wines Master Peace on the hook in a similar vein to early Mike Skinner. The tune is infectious, taking over your limbs and forcing you to jive along to the slow jam.
‘How Many Times’ sees YS at his most sinister, kissing his teeth as the demonic beat immediately kicks in. Adding to this, a funky bassline whirrs in and out of the track, as well as the sounds of piano synthesisers and psychedelic guitars. This unusual assortment of sonics works well as the project's penultimate cut. 'EGO' seems the perfect mixtape closer, revelling in afrobeats and perspiring positive energy as the anthology of tracks come to an end.
A short prison sentence may have put Tekdinner time on hold, but it seems the South Londoner is ready to solidify his unique blend of U.K. lead music among the Capital's most respected rappers. YS is at his most provocative on this taper when he is unforgivingly true to himself and the roots that have made him who he is. The artist can endeavour in many avenues after this tape, and continue to explore a range of sounds, which we hope to hear on future releases.