the aspiring me 98 briargate 11 almeda

TAME, The Aspiring Me moves from Missouri City hoods to projects worldwide.

In a little less than a week, TAME, The Aspiring Me will release his third album, 98 Briargate & 11 Almeda. Last year’s OK, Whatever found joy in doing absolutely nothing but having fun. There wasn’t any gravity or weight of responsibility. What the son of Big Mello found in life was that it meant absolutely nothing to create these hardened, tonal rap records. Because the world at the moment wants to make tonal, dreary ass rap records and his head is nowhere near those two things.

An early listen of 98 Briargate & 11 Almeda finds all the self-produced tracks to feel anamorphic. They slither around in progressive space, plinking keyboards and haughty, almost listless air. He sings with his back to the ground on “Green Room Blues,” looking for the woman in his bed to call her Uber as he searches for his bus card. It’s his attempt at levity and it mostly succeeds throughout the tape. When he drifts away from the singing and autotune that populates 98 Briargate & 11 Almeda, he raps about switching between day job mode and dream chasing mode (“7PM to 2AM”) and making direct statements about career goals. Get the check, buy mom the crib. Periscope the shows, get out of here.

However common as TAME, The Aspiring Me can be, he raps with the calmness of somebody unafraid. “TSH (Flexing)” is a song made out of weed smoke and supreme confidence, right after you get suspended from work and have a new, controlled rage to stunt. “I’m flexing on these n-ggas cause they some hoes … No take disrespecting, I might show you I’m from Texas,” he sings with a joyful nihilism to his voice. Because what’s the point? Either you’re going to make great rap records or be stuck in a dead end job dreaming of making great rap records. At least TAME, The Aspiring Me can attest that the latter idea sucks.

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