Album of the Week - Tkay Maidza - Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2
Each summer, we look for a song or album to serve as a soundtrack to our porch sits, river days, and house parties. It wasn't a big deal that a candidate didn't emerge this year, as one does typically does in May or June, what with everything shut down and social distancing in full effect. But here we are in mid-August 2020, winding down the season, and Tkay Maidza has delivered.
Maidza, a Zimbabwean-via-Austrialia rapper, has been making music for a few years now, but her first release from 4AD is a revelation. Citing Nicki Minaj, Azaelia Banks, and Santigold as influences, Maidza explores an array of genres and sounds over eights songs and 28 minutes. 24k is built for the club, You Sad for the pop radio circuit, but the best stretch is found right in the middle: lead single Shook into Awake (featuring JPEGMAFIA) and then Grasshopper. All three are absolute bangers, and show off the artist's lyrical chops. If there's any justice in the music industry, Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2 should catapult Tkay Maidza into the spotlight, and consumers best pay attention. And even in these (solitary) dog days of summer, you can still blast it outside on a hot afternoon.