Nigerian-born Brooklyn resident Thutmose shuts down the year with an afrobeat-inspired EP titled ‘Don’t Wake Me.’ I must admit – nothing sounds better than this at night. Thutmose is a rapper by commercial standards which seems a little unfair because of his multifaceted and bold approach to making music.
After his savage freestyle performance on Kendrick Lamar’s HUMBLE. instrumental (published by TH3RD BRAIN) got people’s tongues wagging about 2 years ago, Thutmose has been putting the work in.
Over the years, Thutmose has explored a variety of genres and melodies from 32-bit game effects & alternative jazz-rock vibes in the Run Wild EP to downtempo & millennial groves in his Man on Fire compilation. He’s back this year with an all-encompassing afro-popsoul EP.
The thing about Don’t Wake Me is that it’s one of those EP’s that catch you off-guard.
This EP has the freshness of ice cold coconut water and the charm offensive of an island vacation. As each song flows into the next, it’s clear that Thutmose has carefully created this EP. Combining influences from Africa and the Caribbean, staying true to each culture whilst upholding his artistic difference & direction.
Let’s break it down, track by track, because that’s what you do when you appreciate something so much – you admire the individual parts for what they are.
The EP unfolds like a love story in the form of an ice-cream cone melting down your hands. Thutmose goes through a phase of rumination with lyrics written in the form of a text message (usually sent during the early hours) for the one that got away. Romancing his way into a relatable tale of love, distance and reality, Thutmose’s melodic vocals are a reminder that he’s more than “just a rapper”. The official music video for ‘Ambience’ was released on October 21st. Peep that for a little visual stimulus.
2. Love in the Morning (ft. Rema)
Lock the doors and put the kids to bed because the second phase starts well…wherever it is that appeals to you, driven RAW lyrical content.
Rema joins Thutmose in ‘Love in the Morning’, which is honestly perfect for every occasion. ‘Love in the Morning’ also has a music video out on YouTube (beginning to see a pattern here…) set in some glorious cityscapes, portrait-coated gallerias and lush greenery. With well-placed ad-libs, a beat that wops, Rema’s eclectic sound and hums that elevate, this tune is bound to have you swaying from start to finish!
We all have them – and Thutmose’s came back in the form of someone else. Citing ‘what’s left if I give you my all?’, he asks a question that we seek an answer to. He speaks of a pivotal point in relationships – a point of closure. Just before it’s truly over, we seek to know what we didn’t before with hopes to seal the chapter with a better understanding of the situation, leaving us feeling wiser, complete and unphased. Without triggering some unsolicited emotion, Memories should be a lesson to us all. That nostalgic dancehall clap is also something worth noting.
4. Drugs & Whatever You Want
Kick those tired feet up and spoil yourself with a juicy fruit. ‘Drugs & Whatever You Want’ is a sweeter serenade, arranged with acoustic guitar chords, Thutmose’s fire bars, and airy harmonies. These three elements, matched with some distorted strings make for the ultimate landing pad for the fun, fights and reminiscence we’ve experienced so far.
A song for spoils and life after the sunset, ‘Drugs & Whatever You Want’ speaks to the listener who’s in deep – but then again, how can you not be by now?
5. I Need You
Midnight chats and snacks are the best! I urge everybody to engage in these. I must also add that ‘I Need You’ is a song that must be on your playlist during that time! Drawing the curtain on the day, Thutmose reflects on a 24hour journey of romance, pride, spoils and unwinding. Gratitude happens when you figure out that you have everything you need to be the best version of yourself and that right there is priceless. Now, don’t go calling up people or pulling up to their homes in the middle of the night on a random Wednesday, okay? Consent is important!
This 5-track EP is one of those that I feel deserves a vinyl plaque. After having one listen, it has been on repeat ever since. The holiday season approaches and the release of Don’t Wake Me was timed impeccably. Thutmose has stunned yet again! The story of this young artist’s come-up from immigration to international acclaim has gained some traction with the likes of Billboard, XXL and NPR. He has just closed off his European Tour across Berlin, Paris, London and Dublin!
Enough rambling on about how much we love this EP! Go have a listen for yourself on Spotify while you follow Thutmose on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Also, check for more tour dates, book your flights, fill up your gas tanks, get those bus tickets and live out your dreams! Whatever happens, Don’t Wake Me.