YellowStraps has dropped his anticipated new album, tentacle, out now on Haliblue Records/Universal Music France.
The Brussels-based artist has been blazing a trail in the Belgian rap scene in recent years and, after a string of successful singles and international tours over the past year, tentacle is another giant leap forward.
The album opens with sparse instrumentals setting the stage for YellowStraps’ delicate vocals, before ‘notice’ – the second of five singles from the LP – shuffles into view with a brooding vocal hook and funk bassline. ‘MERCI’, another of the album’s singles, ups the ante as Belgian hip hop peers Roméo Elvis and Swing supply their razor-sharp flow to a potent trap beat. ‘sorrysorrysorry’ is a tender affair that bears YellowStraps’ soulful lyricism, while the woozy, laid-back percussion of ‘smoove shit’ injects some much-welcomed funk.
The home stretch of tentacle’s 13 tracks also includes the singles ‘headown’ and ‘tnght’, which both sent ripples throughout the underground hip hop scene over the past year. Finally, the album closes in style with ‘flowin’ (feat. Sam Wise)’, a sophisticated modern hip-hop jam that combines YellowStraps’ quick-fire flow and lucid lyricism with a jazz-inflected production.
Speaking on the record, YellowStraps comments that the album is themed around “the paradox of love”. He adds: “You know it’s beautiful and amazing but you also know it can be a struggle and be painful at the same time. That’s what the whole album depicts.”
Drawing from the best of underground hip hop, the album is packed with scene-stealing cameos from rising stars. The single ‘flowin’ features Sam Wise who was a founding member of the Frank Ocean and Virgil Abloh co-signed rap collective, House of Pharaohs, and has spent the past five years soundtracking London’s underground scene. Roméo Elvis and Swing, both featured on the storming single ‘MERCI’, are fellow leading lights in the Belgian rap scene. Honduran producer Trooko lends his Latin-infused sound to ‘clouds’, while French pianist Sofiane Pamart’s sensitive keys work makes for a shining highlight on ‘blue’.
Founded in Brussels, YellowStraps has been nurturing a unique neo-soul blend that caresses the senses for nearly ten years now, proudly championed by the bubbling Belgian rap scene in which they are a part of. An evolving musician and songwriter, he has gathered success from names like VICE and Complex, and gained tastemaker support from brands like COLORS, Vans and Fred Perry.
tentacle delivers on YellowStraps’ irrepressible hype by delivering 13 tracks that put his range of genre-hopping talents, and those of his peers, on full display.
tentacle – Album tracklist:
- MERCI (feat. Roméo Elvis, Swing)
- clouds (feat. Trooko)
- smoove shit
- blue (feat. Sofiane Pamart)
- writer’s block (feat. Blu Samu)
- Flowin’ (feat. Sam Wise)
To find out more about YellowStraps, go to: