It couldn’t have been a better roll out.
In a year’s time, TrigNO has emerged from the depths of the city’s pool of talented artists, setting the stage for his third project, Rawest4m. Upon its release, the rapper/dancer performed at Native Tongues, linked with the city’s hottest producer, Sean Starks, and made the 11th issue of the fastest growing magazine in Columbus, “Fly Paper Magazine.” Shameless plug, yes, I know.
TrigNO and his team layed out the promotional red carpet for the release of Rawest 4m and, for what many expected, the quality of the music didn’t disappoint. In fact, the project may have exceeded expectations. Its sonic and artistic elements were a vast improvement from TrigNO’s previous project, TrigkNOw TOO. Rather than experiment with a variety of different sounds, TrigNO and Starks opted for a more introspective and soulful direction, one encapsulated by Starks’ ear for infectious samples and hard-hitting bass lines, matching TrigNO’s elite lyrical ability.
Not only do records like “Twenty4” and “Roundaway” highlight TrigNO’s lyrical prowess, but Starks’ production helps push TrigNO to confront more thought-provoking subjects, like his experiences growing up on Columbus’ north end. On “Roundaway,” TrigNO details the memories of his escapades on Cleveland Ave, playing neighborhood hide-in-seek and skating at “Skate Zone 71.” Though things have changed, many of the memories of his adolescence still weigh heavily within him. It’s what built him into the man he is today and, ultimately, his success as an artist in the city.
Just as TrigNO recounts tales of his succession, he also confronts moments of self-reflection. Despite the success he’s garnered, his hunger has never waned. There’s no better symbol of TrigNO’s ambitions than on “Liquify,” as TrigNO reflects on his grind from the corners of the city’s music scene. “Liquify niggas ain’t solid/Can’t get it if you ain’t … got it.” “Tempo/CatchTheBeat” in many ways, is Trig’s flattering imitation of Jay-Z’s “PSA.” He’s not in the music game to foul out, for his legacy is destined to reach beyond other’s limitations and the boundaries set inside Interstate-270. He’s embraced music in hopes of inspiring others and to touch the lives of those closest to him — especially his incarcerated brother.
One of the more prominent elements from the project was TrigNO’s elevated level of storytelling. As an artist, his improved ability to craft songs was displayed on tracks “Finding4Ever” and “Found4Ever.” Though they weren’t the most enjoyable songs among the 13 placed on the tracklist, they were representative of TrigNO’s growth. “Finding4Ever” begins with a poem that finds TrigNO confessing his love to his companion; comparing their love to Martin and Gina’s — as well as other empowering black couples 90s era. “Found4Ever” focuses on TrigNO’s future soul-child and its potential life experiences. He illustrates how he’ll be there to fend for his/her’s independence, safety and love upon its arrival into adolescence and adulthood.
Rawest4m is filled with many of the elements that made TrigNo’s previous two projects enjoyable. The eclectic beats by Starks, easily makes this a more fluid listen. Though the tracklist deviates from its linear soundscape at times, its drawn back in with its content; substance TrigNO chose to highlight more prominently on this project. On Rawest 4m, TrigNO’s more in tune with his ambitions of success, like on “Screening Calls,” and his emotions. Ultimately, expanding his versatility as a creative
Rawest4m is by far his best effort, and one that is measurable to any artist’s project this past year. Heading in to 2018, a lot more eyes will be set on the man of former mystique. It was the perfect rollout, for an even better execution.