Music Review: Taco Ve’l’s “#TacoTunesday”

Taco Ve’l is an aspiring rap artist from St. Louis, MO, who’s slowly gained notoriety in the city, as he’s carved out a muddied grunge-inspired sound he can call his own. Taco’s latest project “#TacoTunesday” displays the dark and mystic atmosphere his sound encompasses, which he uses to document his views on society, drugs, women, and his daily experiences as a young artist in Columbus. His efforts to piece these themes together, however, result in a highly unimpressed reception.

Based on the name of the project, one may assume Taco doesn’t take himself too seriously. Unfortunately, this same assumption could be attributed to his music, as it lacks artistic direction and sonic form. “#TacoTunesday” suffers from these ails, as he fails to create a cohesive body of work. Instead, it’s a nine-track compilation of disoriented production, questionable vocal performances, and lapses of carelessness.

Taco’s carelessness is evident throughout the project, as many of the songs lack structure and suffer from cringe-worthy lyrics. On the song “INTROVERT,” Taco raps over a classic g-funk baseline as he reflects on people that are selling drugs, imprisoned, and living lavished lifestyles.  In turn, he’s isolated himself to focus on his music and ignore the violence that surrounds him. Though the song’s concept is one of the more endearing on the record, Taco’s sluggish delivery and lyrics dilute the power of its message. “We all gods trying to make it/Yet you caking with Satin.”

Through the series of flaws, however, there are light moments of honesty. Taco’s stories of pain, struggle, and insecurity are hidden behind his distorted vocals. The song “HONEST,” as the title suggests, is the most transparent on the project. Taco discusses the racism, sexism, and the unethical social constructs that make up the world. “See, I got a dream like Michael King and I’m a chase it/Nigga it aint always what it seems/It’s clear to see this country racist.”

Taco’s project “#TacoTunesday” is one of experimentation, unfortunately a largely unsuccessful one. It’s not his themes of lean and drug abuse, his colorless vocals, or boorish delivery that makes this unenjoyable. Rather, it’s his half-assed effort to develop a structured project, as many of the songs contain filler lyrics and empty sonic spots. However, despite these issues there are notable moments of potential. Unlike many artists that fit in the confines of cloud rap, Taco offers detailed stories that refer to his life as a young artist in Columbus and how he’s adjusted since enduring these experiences. His project deviates from these stories, opting to compile an array of different styles into one project, which result in a disoriented body of work. Instead, Taco should focus on developing a sound that caters to his strengths as a storyteller and creative, rather than one that forcefully attempts to create music that doesn’t fit his artistic style.

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