Tieran, a Columbus based rapper from Lancaster, Ohio, released his single, “Give a Damn” in 2018. He may have taken some artistic licenses, but the license he clearly cares about most is a license to drive. The only way to prepare you for his lyricism is to preface his song with this: Car Bars. Line after line of… car bars. He says “this goes out to” and then lists makes and models, one after another, in no discernibly meaningful order, as in, “this goes out to all the v-dubs, all the M3’s, and the 240’s, this goes out to all the slam-vans, all the four doors…” etc., as if these cars are sitting at home somewhere and thinking, aww, how nice, he shouted me out. That sounds silly, but, that’s because — yeah, it IS silly.
Don’t get me wrong, I love wordplay. That said, it should be understood that this song is not an act of wordplay or him toying with car names as a heightened thematic element. This feels more like it was made entirely on one premise: This is a car song, for a car movie. It would be perfect on one of those “Music Inspired By the Motion Picture ‘The Fast and The Furious'” albums, if you like that sort of thing. It feels polished enough to sound commercial (the mix and master is on point), and yet I’m left feeling obnoxiously pandered to. It’s like a Monster Energy Drink commercial had a baby with a GoDaddy web teaser, and their spawn was Tieran’s song.
The blatant takeaway is clearly meant to be “ME!” and “CARS!” As for his mainstream-standardized self-repping and his contextless car shout outs — both are just nutritionally devoid of any substance. Add to all this the lack of musical nuance, intermixed with emotionally tone-deaf lyricism and vocals that are reminiscent of NF and MGK, (whether or not that is a compliment, depends, I suppose, on your personal taste) and you have Tieran in a nutshell. There’s just this vague air of disingenuousness — in his verses, in his voice, in his emotional expressiveness — and this seems to be tantamount in most of his songs, regardless of the mood, theme, or subject matter.
In short, this artist has some redeemable strong suites, but, on the whole, it is not his brand he needs to develop, but himself. He shows some promise, but, I think he might just need to grow up a little first.
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