New York City holds the key to such a wide arrangement of artists from all walks and styles, from the gritty underbelly of hip-hop to the sunny mansions of pop-rock. Everything in the city somehow comes back to the history of New York’s fascination with production and beats, especially when it comes to Earth’s No Fun, the 2019 release from Taphari.
Obsession starts quickly with Taphari’s voice which is distinct over the five-track record that quickly falls into the warm spaces between the listener’s heart over 13-minutes. Beginning with a soulful installment of chords on the first track “Suit Up,” Taphari spits over a frantic and sporadic beat of clicks and snare fills. It is almost alien to the listener at first, overcoming as a wave of strange, but intriguing performance that eventually overflows into “Stingy” after the minute-long chaos.
“Stingy” is actually love at first sound with this punching beat pattern of a deep snare that hits beside with a smooth hi-hat ride along. His voice over the percussion is an assault over this head-bopping push toward some sense of perfection, but the beauty of Earth’s No Fun comes from Taphari’s ability to push their own identity on the track. As he explains, “America ain’t shit, they coming for ya kids, and taken all they dads and aiming at the cribs. And who will survive this? The boujee and the rich, the Becky’s and the Kim’s, the Braylin’s and the Jim’s,” his message is impactful even if it is only present for a short amount of time.
Through Earth’s Not Fun’s length, there is something special about the work. Somehow in 13-minutes, Taphari can bring a fire under the seat and begin movement with booming bass and ill lyricism over disorder. When “Tell Me How” bursts onto the scene, Taphari is in full swagger. He stands tall as if a monument of individualism, explaining “always screaming gang gang gang, everywhere but the bank” behind this smooth but forward voice. His dialect is unique and recognizable among a sea of sound within NYC.
As Earth’s No Fun begins to sprint toward the finish line, Taphari drops their knowledge over beats and makes a fine job of painting a canvas that is both relatable and equally distant. Whether standing alone in the crowd or in an ocean of people, the near 9-million could never compare to a single Taphari.