Tkay Maidza is a Zimbabwean-Austrialian artist who is no stranger to the underground scene. Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2, her third studio release, is an enticing smorgasbord of distinct flavors. In just 8 tracks, Tkay flexes her range as not only a singer but rapper as well, covering trunk-knocking hardcore hip-hop, silky alternative RnB and everything in between. With 26 minutes of runtime, the project plays more like an EP than an album; however, this works to Tkay’s benefit because LYWW2 is all killer, no filler.
My first experience with her was through her track “Awake”. Though it was released as a single in 2019, it fits into the tracklist of LYWW2 like a glove. Originally, I tuned in for JPEGMAFIA’s solid feature, but I stayed for Tkay’s commanding presence on the microphone. With its eerie synth lead, distorted bass, and confrontational lyrics, “Awake” is a banger to be sure.
Tkay reaches into pop rap’s bag of tricks in “You Sad”, which is accompanied by a quirky music video. The result, with its cheery guitar loop and vocal harmonies, is an earworm of a song about boys who simply won’t stop calling. To the ears, this track is diametrically opposed to “Awake”, and the fact that they are found on the same album is a testament to Tkay’s versatility as an artist.
Overall, Tkay Maidza has proven herself a force to be reckoned with on Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2, A collection of tracks that are all refreshing in their own right. I would recommend this project to fans of Princess Nokia, Kari Faux, and Leikeli47. Listen to the album.
Favorite tracks: 24k, Shook, Awake, PB Jam
– DJ Mango