Review: TAYLOR MACE – W.H.O. I Am
‘W.H.O. I Am’ is the debut EP by Birmingham rapper Taylor Mace. The EP is a journey about searching for identity and purpose. An insight in to the female emcees mind as she speaks on family, self- acceptance, self-doubt, rejection, breaking barriers, artistry and defining who Taylor Mace is to the world. Featuring production from Omito, mjNichols and SoulWonda and guest appearances from J Wade Nia Duke$ and Mani Hazle, the EP is our introduction to Taylor Mace.
The first track ‘Who Am I’ finds Taylor rapping over an energetic beat, filed with large strings and a consistent bouncy chant, Taylor Mace speaks on her struggle as an artist and standing out against a sea of rappers. “Nowadays recognitions easy to miss, every bodies tryna rap, there’s no nobody to play your disc and your mums your biggest fan”. Due to the oversaturation of rappers, listeners are more inclined to support and embrace established and co-signed artist.
It’s clear her parents play an important role in her life, providing Taylor with the encouragement and support needed to pursue her dreams. “Lately I haven’t been feeling myself, I’ve been trying my best to fit and be somebody else so who am I… a rapper, a writer, a dreamer”, represents the mood of the EP, a statement to listeners that Taylor is an artist with big ambitions.
‘For Who’ explores Taylor’s life, her tone is hard-hitting as she discusses her thoughts of suicide, self-doubt, rejection and her lifestyle change. The instrumental begins with light mellow key tones, and then suddenly turns into a loud kick and snare over simple piano notes. The beat switches up towards the end, where a distorted eerie guitar shifts the mood from thoughtful and expressive to determined, as Taylor signs off with the lyrics “Whatever you do, they still throw the book at you, so I’m gonna write my own rules.”
Taylor’s struggles relate to people and the denial of acceptance, this has made her focus on music as a means to fill that void whilst reaching personal fulfilment, ‘Lost Ones featuring. J Wade illustrates this. Here she raps about broken friendships, laying a foundation for her children and defining success. J Wade provides an RnB hook dedicating the song to lost generation caught in the club life and not focusing on what’s important. A highlight is towards the end where Taylor speaks the introspective words “It’s best to have love and lost than to have never loved at all and it’s far better to lose yourself in the moment than to be lost forever.” giving a real sentimental and thoughtful vibe.
The darkest track on the EP is fittingly titled ‘Gloom’ this braggadocios and bad-mannered song, allows Taylor to run wild and call out “ignorant rappers” and cement her position in the rap world, police sirens and abrupt high vocal samples create a menacing feel. Featuring rappers Mani Hazle and Nia Duke$ who provide complementary verses to Taylor’s.
Overall the EP is good and Taylor Mace has a way to go, but she is on the right path, her expressive and honest content is something new, compared to vast braggadocios and inauthentic music out now. The EP could have done with more songs and experimentation, but for those interested in listening and purchasing head to Taylor’s bandcamp page at http://taylormace.bandcamp.com/.