Music Opinion

Bryson Tiller’s “True To Self” Album Review

A review on Bryson Tiller's sophomore album "True To Self" by writer, Kyra Donahoo.

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The smooth, hard-hitting trap beats have returned and granted us with new life stories from young Pen Griffey, formally known as Bryson Tiller. Tiller left his fans to sit and reminisce with Trap Soul for the time being until he dropped three new tracks a few weeks ago with features from Young Thug. The three songs were said to be added to his sophomore album True To Self, but “Somethin Tells Me” was the only song included in the album release along with 19 other tracks. Tiller informed fans through social media that his album would be released June 23rd, but he blessed them with an earlier summer present that could help them with any relationship storms that may have come their way.

The album begins with “Rain On Me (Intro),” which incorporates storms and a constant melody that creates a vibe of regret that Tiller has felt in a past relationship or fling with someone that he has not had time for. He adds “every time I don’t answer you think I’m with someone else” which reveals that this woman in Tiller’s life has been through it with him before and has developed trust issues from his actions. Throughout the rest of the intro, Tiller explains that he wasn’t ready then but he is now to make a difference in this situationship. As an artist, Tiller has always been able to express his truth to his fans from a perspective that can be interpreted from both a male and female point of view. He does this in “No Longer Friends” with the common issue in relationships – when there is that one friend of your partner’s that you believe has other motives than just being a “friend.” Tiller explains that his friendship with this girl has always been nothing more than friends until he actually started to develop further feelings for her. He says his friend started to come to him for fulfillment to make her feel wanted and treated like a queen as he always treated her. Tiller was able to read this friend in a way that her man was not able to, but he wants it to be known that this wasn’t “the side n***a anthem;” their relationship was more than that.

Throughout the album, it is clear that Bryson has recently established a situationship with a new woman or has further continued it. In “Don’t Get Too High” he explains that maybe he has met his match by saying, “Whoa, you make me feel how I make other b***hes feel like you be cool without or with me here.”  In this album, Tiller tells his story by including specific conversations from his past and incorporating it in his lyrics in a way that makes it even more authentic. As a Tiller fan, you are bound to expect his few songs where he raps (in which I have never been much a fan of), but “High Stakes” is a record where Tiller is able to reflect on how far he has grown as an artist and how much he has improved financially but has always been able to stay true to himself. This is Tiller’s applaud to himself for how much he has accomplished.

In Trap Soul, Tiller made sure to include his solely rap records, so I was not shocked to see that he included those in this album. However, if he kept the constant message of someone not being in a place in their life to fully commit to someone but now has matured and is ready to take that step, then this album would be more cohesive. Doing so would make this album solely R&B, which is not Tiller’s style, so I know that would never happen. The rap songs he included are bangers, but I’m not a fan of how he mixes the two genres — he’s stronger with his R&B talents.

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