Estonian rapper and style icon Tommy Cash has finally released a follow-up effort to his debut project Euroz Dollaz Yeniz. The 2014 album featured some pretty strange and striking material, helping the artist to carve out his own niche. He continued to cultivate a following with his subversive fashion sense, embrace of meme-culture, unique charisma and hit songs such as 2016’s infectious Winaloto; accompanied by a surreal music video of which helped the track become quite the viral sensation.
His sophomore effort Ɏ€$ is definitely a much more fleshed-out, diverse collection of work. The rapper’s sound has always been distinctive, in part thanks to his accent but also inventive and offbeat production. From the very start it’s obvious that Tommy has never been so ambitious – WAIT A MINUTE! (Intro) is hectic, abrasive and so downright enjoyable, offering a fitting and devilish portal into both album and artist.
It’s such a lively and energetic cut which will enthral fans from the very get-go. MONA LISA offers a nice blend of everything we’ve grown to expect from the Estonian peculiarities career: exaggerated vocalisation, confrontational instrumentation, and variation. X-RAY is an incredible euro-trash floorfiller, offering the album its first clear highlight – it may be his most grandiose track yet.
The album comes across its first hurdle with the annoying BRAZIL, but luckily things are back on track with VEGETARIAN, which sounds like it could have slotted in nicely on his previous project. It fulfils expectations, as do following tracks HORSE B4 PORSCHE – the lyricism here feels quintessential – DOSTOYEVSKY, and BLACK JEANS, WHITE T-SHIRT.
We then encounter the most interesting song on the record: COOL 3D WORLD, which sounds so much like a Yung Lean single in the best possible way. Its “sadboy” influenced production supports lyricism which feels shallow and evocative simultaneously. It’s a wonderfully catchy moment on the album, and suggests potential for more musical exploration on his next project.
NOT CARE is the most conventional hip-hop song present; everything about it feels a little too generic. However, it does assert that even when sounding like no one else for the majority of the album, he could conform to more popular genre fare if he wanted to. Yet, the concluding cut YES OR NO? (Outro) confirms that this won’t quite cut it. Tommy Cash accomplishes a lot on the record, delivering a signature sound that’s already showing fast improvement.
Ɏ€$ is one of the year’s most fascinating curiosities, and we’ve worked up an appetite for more.