In a culture of ‘guyz’ and ‘lolz’, where N-Dubz are role models and Kanye is God, Tinie Tempah has shot from the underground to make the top of the charts his castle, like Dizzee before him.
Written on the back of Number 1 hit ‘Pass Out’ Disc-Overy, Tempah’s debut (no, really), is very much a homage to this lightning bolt ride to success. Lyrics like “Now I drive past the bus I used to run for” are less blinging than their American rap counterparts but all 13 tracks are injected with more personality than his peers attempt to fake.
Disc-Overy isn’t Tinie’s masterpiece – ‘Written in the Stars’ is dare we say it boyband-ish and some parts are tailor-made for annoying ringtones on public transport. Still, for a relative newcomer he shows more musical dexterity when it comes to collaborators; ‘Wonderman’ has Ellie Goulding sounding better than she does on most of her own stuff and second-most-successful-former-Destiny’s-Child-member Kelly Rowland lays down some vox on ‘Invincible’ (sorry popstrels, it’s one of the worst songs on here). Mashing up genres at the risk of losing street cred, the dance infusion that is ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ combines forces with Swedish House Mafia to create a kinky-lyric fuelled dance floor anthem.
It might not be perfect but with some irresistible hooks and Anglocentric charm this record smacks enough gold down on the table to justify why Tinie Tempah is the biggest pop star in the UK today. Who doesn’t like songs about fame, success and Playboy bunnies anyway?