NEW MUSIC: TEMI ONI - PULL UP ON YOU FT TIERRA WHACK
One of the all-time hip-hop muses* said “Confidence is quiet. Insecurity is loud.”
On her debut single “Pull Up on You” Los Angeles-via-Delaware artist Temi Oni channels this timeless sentiment.
The sages at Urban Dictionary inform us that to pull up on a person is “a threat. synonymous to ‘drop your location’ or ‘wanna fight’.” Similarly, pull up on you refers to paying someone a visit. Just what sort of visit is left open to interpretation though.
“Pull Up on You” kicks off with some infectious off-kilter bars from Tierra Whack, an artist so unique and talented she may single handedly legitimize SoundCloud Rappers. These opening verses set the stage for the entire song. At first they come across as lazy, bored even, but further listens reveal the calm self-assurance behind her flow. Her nonchalant swagger acts as a launching pad to send this song into the stratosphere.
From there Temi takes over, her vocals oozing confidence as they rise and soar above the beat. She sings with a power and fearlessness that feels neither put on nor forced. Matching the bravado of the lyrics, Oni lets it be known that she’s not about all that superficial flexing nonsense, but if she was she could do it way better than y’all. The quiet, unassuming flex is the ultimate flex. It’s reminder that I don’t need to show you how bad I am and you best pray you never find out.
The noisy ones are always tipping their hand, brashly unsubtle and predictable. You never know what you’re going to get from those who choose their words carefully.
TEMI ONI - PULL UP ON YOU FT. TIERRA WHACK
“It’s always the quiet ones,” is the line that keeps sticking out to me on repeated listens. It distill the songs entire message in a succinct hook. And since meaning always comes from adjacent data, it reminded me of my favorite passage from The Prophet:
Speak only when necessary. A timely reminder from Ms. Oni and Mr. Girbran, kindred spirits.
This is the first offering we’ve heard from Temi Oni and it’s quite and introduction. My guess is it won’t be the last.
* A Definitive Ranking of Hip Hop Muses
1. Tony Montana
2. Eryka Badu
3. Pablo Escobar
4. Nat Turner
5. Don Corleone
653. Barbara Bush (RIP)
Calvin Paradise is not any one thing. The half-hearted vagabond and forgetful luddite currently resides in Los Angeles and how he spends his time is none of your damned business.