Whether you love him, loathe him or have no idea who he is, we can all likely agree on one thing: Tommy Cash is a Freak.
His new album not only confirms this but accelerates his freak levels to borderline incomprehensible. On first listen it’s difficult to decide whether ‘¥€$’ is good or bad, but by the third listen I assure you, it’s solid. In the 2:40 intro titled ‘WAIT A MINUTE!’, Cash manages to spit out pretty much every stereotypical rap topic available - and then some. His crass, vulgar bars set the tone for the rest of ‘¥€$’, and we are promised to be taken on a ride involving rap, trap, satire and some Basshunter-esque beats.
The Estonian trap-happy rapper has joined forces with PC Music power couple A.G. Cook and Danny L Harle this time around - their synthetic fingerprints have covered each and every track (with the exception of the Boyz Noise produced ones which let’s face it, still sound PC) and it’s oh so apparent that Tommy Cash has been welcomed into the club.
Four tracks into madness and we are offered ‘BRAZIL’ (which on first listen made me feel physically ill but is now a favourite) where he teams up with the one, the only MC Bin Laden (???). The ridiculousness of the track means you really should hate it, but it’s so, so difficult to. Tommy brings back his iconic rapping style (by this point everyone has made the comparison to Die Antwoord so heavily that I’ll just leave it out). It’s fun, it flows and it’s a head bopper. It’s fair to say that when his tour starts next year, it’s gonna pop off.
What’s impressive to hear is the same sound and style debuted on 2014’s ‘Euroz Dollaz Yeniz’ is still apparent four years later, but now it’s with added confidence and tighter production. Still, the album has its downfalls - ‘Vegetarian’ is one of the album’s weaker offerings, along with the following track ‘HORSE B4 PORSCHE’, it’s apparent that the middle of the album has fallen down some sort of generic trap hole in which not even Tommy backed by PC Music can escape.
The seventh track ‘COOL 3D WORLD’ is the album’s strongest offering. That could be based solely on the fact that the lyrics “I’m a chronic mastarbator” are included in a way that isn’t completely repulsive, yet it’s more because it’s a beautiful, glistening example of how to properly pair trap, synth and Charli XCX styled vocals. For all the messiness of ‘¥€$’, this track may well be its salvation.
‘¥€$’ is a complete sensory overload, to the extent where you do start to eventually appreciate it for its energy and creativity, and not necessarily for its role as an ‘album’. With Tommy’s strong appreciation of art and fashion AND a 20-second cameo from Rick Owens at the end of ‘MONA LISA’, I don’t think any of this body of work would seem out of place if it were to be played aloud in the Saatchi gallery. Then again we doubt it would sound out of place if it was booming out Urban Outfitters’ speakers, either.
Words: Laura Copley
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