Ingenious Execution of an ’80s Throwback

TekForce, an artist out of the Dallas, Texas area, is a child of the ’80s. He loves anime, video games, and is deeply rooted in hip hop culture. There’s something you don’t see every day. Although hip hop’s love for anime and video games does have previous precedent, and actually, references have been everywhere in the mainstream since the beginning. In 2019, TekForce released a single called “Move” featuring T-Wrex, which will be the subject of my review today.

I cannot say enough good things about this genuinely creative track, especially in terms of production. In fact, I’m so impressed with the beat and the production side of this, that I’m going to jump right into that. This song is quite possibly the most original song I’ve heard in a while, if not ever. The beat is the first thing I have to comment on. It’s a profoundly ’80s inspired throwback. Think Miami Vice beat and Killer Mike on the vocals. It’s quite frankly genius. ’80s synth licks with modern production swell for a nostalgic backdrop. The flows have that old-school on-the-beat vibe with the occasional modern running-over the-bars, and the mash-up in precise and perfect. ’80s style pop drums fill out the chorus and create a wonderful pumping effect. This track would be perfect for video games. I’m not sure the mainstream is ready for this level of creativity, but I wish they were because it’s genius. And the scratches! The scratches, in the beginning, fulfill every b-boy’s fantasy for the perfect scratch.

TekForce, in terms of vocal quality, is an absolute force. He sounds like Luda and Killer Mike had a baby, and it’s TekForce. T-Wrex sounds a little like Big Boi, especially in “Kill Jill” (Check out that song if you haven’t heard it, it’s an instant classic). When you hear the two of them together, you just want to hear more. I think the gain on T-Wrex’s part could’ve been brought up in the mix a little, but other than that, these two turn out a perfect vocal performance. Something I have rarely had a chance to say about any of the artists I’ve reviewed. T-Wrex is the perfect counterpart to TekForce, in that very Killer Mike and Big Boi type of way. And Big Boi – I mean, who doesn’t like Big Boi?

Let’s jump into the lyrics. The lyricism here is entirely on point. It’s so good to see lyricism making a come-back in the industry. Deeply rooted in the ’80s theme, TekForce brings ’80s nostalgia full force with the same love and attention that the makers of “Stranger Things” brought us. It’s feel-good for those who remember the ’80s, and fascinatingly retro for those who don’t. It’s so hard to make a throwback style without making it sound old and kind of worthless. But this gets my highest marks because it managed to make the old sound new and exciting again. With lyrics that maintain the ’80s theme, we get lines like, “’80s kid used to ride a grey sigma/ fixator on the Ghost-busters enigma.” And one of my personal favorites, “maybe I’m white AND fresh to death/ bent outta shape/ like the treble clef.” I laughed out loud after that one. The chorus chants, “So move/ outta the way/ me and my dude you know we don’t play/ so move/ outta ya seat/ feel the beat/can you feel the heat.” It’s an uptempo, pumping, extreme-’80s synth ballad that is the perfect transition between verses. The ’80s era this song is so deeply rooted in is so well represented, the track feels almost cinematic. I can’t tell you enough how difficult that is to achieve and how perfectly that’s been done here.

As I said, this is quite possibly one of the most creative concepts for a song I’ve ever heard, and it was miraculously as well-executed as it was conceived. I am not sure if the mainstream is ready for this sound, but I know good when I hear it, and this is leagues above what the mainstream has been giving us these days. If we can make room for truly original, ground breaking artists such as TekForce and T Wrex, I think hip hop will be all the better for it. I put my full support behind these guys because I know they are incredibly talented and deserving of any forward trajectory they receive. I look forward to their future endeavors and hope to see many more songs from this child of the ’80s.

-ERINEM

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