Over the last several years, R&B has evolved, opening a lane for neo-soul to emerge from R&B’s ashes and make its own way in music today. We began recognizing this genre more and more with artists such as Erykah Badu or Lauryn Hill that provided listeners with something unique to hum to, vibe with and enjoy to the roots of their soul. As hip-hop continues to evolve through it’s rhythmic tones and lyricism, it is only right that the same occurs with R&B. Singer and songwriter Ty Jack is no exception to this as he demonstrates his own evolution front and center. Growing up singing and finding his voice in the church, Ty Jack has continued to provide fans with R&B but also provide a soulful twist on music for this new day.
After a long break from releasing his second body of work, Higher Level, Ty Jack releases Eranu. The project begins with a duet-like intro including artist SōULFULL on “EraNu”. While it may not sweep you off your feet during the first listen, the vocalizing moments throughout the track allow you to slowly penetrate his personal realm of artistry. He follows with “It’s Real”; his first single released earlier this year. It follows the up-beat tones of the introductory track while remaining simplistic in its delivery.
The ending of the song is perfect as it leads into one of my favorite songs from the project, “Nice To Meet You”. Balanced well with rapper SōULFULL’s catchy lyrics and rhyme scheme, both artists use this song as a spark to reminisce about someone in their past. It’s impressively different from their previous single together, “Freedom of Speech”. Both of their voices intertwined seem to work and mesh will with the previous tracks and even with the tracks that followed.
As EraNu progresses, you notice the attachment growing with his powerful, yet soulful voice over each song. At the forefront of bringing back an old sound with a new twist of soul, he delivers “Slow Jam”. Pulling you away from the music itself and instead, bringing you to an atmosphere of sensual desire, Ty paints a picture that evokes feelings of lust and deep emotion. I was impressed with how he utilized his own inspiration from Usher’s “Slow Jam” towards the end, creating an everlasting loop between the old and new vibes of R&B.
Eranu is in full swing by the time he begins to dissolve the tone from the first half of the project and bring in the interlude, “Breathe” ft. singer Bri Janet. It provided the listeners a perfect opportunity to relax and hone in on his voice while building a bridge to the next song, “U KNOW U KNOW”.
Again beginning with rapper SōULFULL, the beginning of the symphonic-like song catches you off guard. With high pitched instruments trailing behind his lyrics, you are forced to listen, forced to pay attention. Unlike most songs from this New Jersey singer, you are able to hear his own flow as he raps the second verse. His ability to rap and sing indicates his multiple talents behind the mic and provides a unique parallel between himself and mainstream singers who take a chance at rappin’ over a beat. He finishes the song mentioning the recent loss of his father and the desire to remain hopeful even in life’s most turbulent moments:
“Everybody keep you your head to the sky and keep hope alive
The other day my pops just died, so cherish life while you’re alive, u know u know”
The vibes continue to flow with the next song “Mic Check”. He hops into the song immediately, wasting no time before rapper CoryRay finishes off the song with his dope flow and cool wordplay. “Verse” played as a good switch between songs as the tempo slows down and you get a further look into the preview he left on “U KNOW U KNOW”. Stepping away from using his soulful voice to capture your attention, the song focuses on his ability as a MC. Rappin’ about joblessness and how it affects the current youth, he uses this time to connect with his listeners over his reflection on all that life offers us or takes away. The slightly dark hook symbolizes a moment to reflect, and the importance of stepping back from the normalcy of music to consider the truth we are engulfed with each day.
He continues with reflection and analysis of who he is musically with the outro, “I Like”. His vocals peak after the first hook forcing you to not forget the impact of his voice. Having to “speak on it now“, Ty uses this as a moment to talk about the lack of passion some individuals have when chasing a dream and the false sense of reality they are portraying to their audience. Even though it serves as a last song to the project, he includes a bonus track, “No More” with artists SōULFULL and Shawn Crysis leaving you with a great sound to jam to. Originally dropping about a month before Eranu, it has grown increasingly popular as it stands to be a perfect blend of hip-hop and R&B.
EraNu, fresh and unique with it’s own sound, has the ability to stand on it’s own as a dope body of work. While some believe R&B or soul is obsolete, Ty Jack does a great job proving otherwise through each track. Through his ranging vocals and ever-changing style of songs with featured artists, he puts together a dynamic project highlighting his passion for all things soul. A big step up from his last two projects, he is continuing to evolve as an artist that leaves other listeners and I anticipating what’s next.