Ty, Awkward (Big Dada): You have to restrain yourself from painting a portrait of Ty as hip-hop sweetheart — the soulful and doleful debut set from the Brit-hop MC finds the fiend talking with tongues foreign to the hip-hop community: shyness, humility, humor, etc. With nods to both Saul Williams and Sarah Jones, the musicality and self-awareness on display is hardly a surprise, but the context isn't poetic or political. Instead, it's Ty trying to find his feet in the established battlegrounds, working at working out where a guy fits in. He tells tales of being picked on at school, coughs out fragmented words about haphazard ideas, talks of being too scared to talk to a woman, and often expresses the awkwardness he feels about hip-hop's traditional ultra-macho notions (hence the rec's title). The album seems most at home on the appropriately-titled "Trippin' Over Words," with Ty's spitty lead-in verses buried deep within the mix, seemingly a mere pre-empt to a long and fluent wah-guitar/old-organ/hissy-hi-hat/cooing-vocal drugged-funk workout. — Anthony Carew

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