TUNSI, born and raised on the East Coast (CT) is an artist who is bound to conquer radio waves nationwide.
His music blends many types of unpredictable styles and delivers raw lyrical talent over strong beats. TUNSI grew up with the hip-hop scene – break dancing and spinning records in the early 80’s. Those hip-hop influences soon inspired him to cultivate his own musical talents that will propel into the next millennium.
He combines his hip-hop roots with a complex, yet contemporary style. TUNSI delivers his raps with a unique style that can be defined as “underground wisdom.” He performs with a passion and energy that motivates crowds and reaches his audience not only through his music, but also through his everyday life confrontations that find expression in his lyrics. Armed with ambition and determination, TUNSI will make an impact in the rap industry.
He intends not only to perform as a recording artist in his own right, but also to achieve success in other aspects of the music industry as well. He has composed and copyrighted numerous songs 14 of which are on Behold A King, 25 on The Omen, 17 on The Antidote, and plenty more. All being written and produced by TUNSI himself. TUNSI is destined to succeed as a multitalented lyrical genius.
Slum Radio by Tunsi
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Sleeping Bag Studios
Tunsi – “Walk With Me” – Single Review
When you picture the greatest-of-the-greats in your mind – what do you see in your mind?
For me…not only do I see the incredible skills and talent of whatever people are involved, but a great many things that led them to their time in the spotlight. Combinations of atmospheres, attitudes and intense learning and perseverance all come together to reveal a moment in time that truly sparkles and shines like the perfection in a diamond. Would Michael Jordan have had the career he had anywhere else other than with Chicago? Possibly. How about artist Michaelangelo back in the day – would he have become just as inspired to paint the roof of any old shack as much as he was the Sistine Chapel? Could Steve Jobs have accomplished everything he wanted to on a PC instead of a Mac?
True talent and perfection is a reflection of being ‘right’ in the moment, not ‘right in the moment.’ The difference being that one carries a blend of universal harmony in everything around you…adapting the elements to your advantage and bringing out the best of everything else around you in turn. On his latest single “Walk With Me,” hip-hop artist/rapper Tunsi has found his moment with this incredible single that reveals the work of an artist that is thinking deep about his sound, style and message. With the incredibly dramatic & theatrical music he’s found to be the canvas to his vibrant lyrics and clever flow – Tunsi paints a thugged-out masterpiece on “Walk With Me.”
Not even kidding…I’ve listened to this track a whole shitload of times due to the absolutely intense atmosphere he’s created on this latest single. Soundcloud can often be a blessing for the next song automatically starting after the one you’re listening to…in this particular case once “Walk With Me” finishes off I keep jumping to like…some absolutely way-too-bright sounding electronica. And that’s not what I want right now after listening to Tunsi…this guy is living in a dark world and rhyming about gritty, dark times…and right now he’s got me hooked right into his sound; anything too light or friendly right now is simply not what I’m looking to hear afterwards. You hear a song like “Walk With Me” and it makes you want to go back & put on Training Day with Denzel out walking the street & getting it done.
“Walk With Me” really possess a back-alley melody and feel to it; with elements of danger and menace combining with smart lyrics and an absolutely killer vocal sample & beat…it’s about as inviting as those movie scenes where some representative of the Reaper seductively talks you into your own death. Like the moments before the car crash…or the final moments of the shot-clock running out…those pivotal and decisive moments that we face in life carry a soundtrack that sounds just like this in our minds. With a melody and flow that sparks up with emotion and a chorus-hook through the sample that sounds determined to claim your soul…this low-end beat really hits home and sounds authentically like its coming from an artist with real ideas to offer.
Big thumbs skyward for this new single from Tunsi…I’m not usually a huge fan of rap with lyrics deal with money & guns unless you can pull it off in a genuine style that sounds like the bullets once passed through you from one side of your gut and out the other. I think we really found a track that’s convincing today with Tunsi’s “Walk With Me;” you can hear the aggression in his voice rise-up to attack the right moments to emphasize in the lyrics and really makes this track hit home with a performance that puts the impact necessary right into the mic. Extremely addictive atmosphere in “Walk With Me” – you can’t help but picture each of these words as clear images in your mind…
Kind of makes you wonder if this artist hasn’t found his own Sistine Chapel right here doesn’t it? Tunsi is right in the pocket throughout his latest single “Walk With Me” and I’m totally excited to see where he might choose to take us in the future of his music. With the gift of atmosphere, texture and tone prevailing in victorious ways throughout this latest single…it’s a definite display of an artist that is clear ‘right’ in the moment and using every element in this song to the full-maximum.
Find out more from his official page at: http://www.paranarecords.net/artists/tunsi/
Not a fake rap attack, much rather a mental nano weapon in the tradition of political acts of a long gone era, Tunsi will leave you wishing for more “Rap Litter”. Check it out!!!
Brilliant & catchy! Your music has been chosen as an Indie-Music Editor’s Pick for the month of April 2008, congratulations! Indie-Music exists to recognize musical accomplishment among independent artists, and we are proud to include your music!
For a guy who does everything on his own, this is totally amazing. I’m not much of a rap fan but I enjoyed a lot of the tunes on here. He takes a stab at the music industry and radio and I have to admit that they play a lot of shit. People can make some really catchy music that a lot of people will enjoy but if you can’t get any radio air play, it falls between the cracks. Radio plays what they want you to like. It’s not really your decision which is why we should all support Internet radio because we Internet radio DJs play a lot of independent music. I think one of my favorite songs on his sampler and on this record has to be “Whoop De Do”. I totally understand his sentiments on that. People are way too materialistic and into bling. I think “Politics At Work” is another great song as well.
He has a lot of interesting social commentary which I think was the reason why hip hop came along in the first place. A lot of videos seemed focused on girls and cars and grills on the teeth instead of focusing on the fucked up shit that goes on in this country. Perhaps Tunsi will bring people back around to the important things.
reviewed by: Unknown
Here and there I get a rap recording to review. I don’t claim to be any expert here. I can tell you what I hear, and if I like what I hear. This is pretty pleasant sounding. I can really appreciate that what I’m hearing doesn’t go into a lot of gangsta style stereotype stuff, doesn’t pander to the pop oriented dance fads, or wear out a bunch of the typical rap cliches. They aren’t participating in bragging contests either.
The rhymes are pretty damn original, and many of them are socially conscious and concerned with change. In other words, this is smart stuff. The music is beat oriented, but it is smooth and diverse. You get more than one repeated beat per song. I like this recording. Like I said, I’m not an expert, but if there are some rap fans that read Neo, I’m hoping that Tunsi can maximize the small bit of exposure that he gets from this underground/ extreme blog-zine.
reviewed by Pedro ‘DJ Complejo’ Hernandez: http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2007_03_specialdelivery.html
Radio spins are something that every rapper hopes to attain during their career. After all, nowadays all you need is one hot radio single to propel an average album to platinum sales, platinum ring tones, and platinum tours. A smart investor could live a lifetime off the money made from one catchy single. So it’s no surprise that eventually rappers express dissatisfaction from the lack of airplay, especially when they feel their music is better than what is currently in rotation. To a degree it’s a valid complaint as talented rappers from Rhymefest to Devin the Dude gets no radio love despite making quality music. Though I too feel radio can overlook plenty of dope music, I’m well aware that rappers from Devin the Dude to Esham have built and maintained successful careers with no radio love whatsoever. So when it comes to a rapper complaining about the radio I sympathize to a point, but once the complaints get too numerous all I can think of is all the dope rappers who said “fuck the radio” and still got theirs.
Tunsi’s “Special Delivery” is an album that probably unintentionally focuses on radio airplay, or more appropriately lack thereof, to the point that the listener gets tired quick. It’s not that fans don’t sympathize with the uphill battle rappers face, but with so much whining eventually fans turn to the question – what have you done to deserve radio airplay? Tunsi’s attack on the status quo is quick and to the point. On the second full track, “Radio Man,” he declares: “Can’t you see FM is wasting time Purposefully pushing all those fake rhymes Now whose the one committing crimes I bet that’s the reason that you’re blind” Halfway through the album on the paranoid “I Know You” the radio theme is still alive as Tunsi further proclaims: “Virtually impossible to get radio play For material that’s been official Instead you steer minds your way Just remember it’s a revolving doorway Cause as soon as they recognize what’s true they scream out “Hurray!” Finally on “I’d Like To See The Ref” Tunsi makes sure you don’t forget that radio is unfair and bias against him: “Stopped by a well known Frequency Modulator Wondering I walked straight through, I’ll tell you later Me and the man in charge sat and ate a Nasty lunchroom cold cut But who cares, I’m thinking bout my stuff Getting played and that’s what’s up Now’s the time, I couldn’t pass it up Slid him a disk like a veteran cat That’s been studying this and watching every stat He took it and then he said look it It doesn’t matter what this tape sounds like Cause you ain’t balling like Mike And I doubt you ever will Besides I don’t recognize your grill My lunch break I’m just trying to kill Don’t wanna hear that same sob story, how you got skills Obviously your skills can’t pay the bills But if you had a suitcase of cash then we could talk deals” These songs only highlight the time
Tunsi spends complaining about radio, but that isn’t the only thing Tunsi has a gripe against. Hip-Hop is way too focused on material things in Tunsi’s mind and he expresses this on “Whoop De Do” where he follows stereotypical rhymes with the title phrase in a satirical attack. In case that subtle message flew over your head, later on the album Tunsi attacks all things fly and flashy on “Ballin” where he criticizes Jim Jones’ catch phrase The pinnacle of complaints is “The Waiver” where Tunsi and the crew seem pissed off that they have to sign waivers to get into and presumably perform at certain nightclubs. At least that’s what I think this track is about, though its nonsensical topic makes it hard to comprehend. If you can get past another track using the same sample as Too $hort’s “Don’t Fight The Feelin” (Some 20 years later) and a horrendous off key hook, you’ll still be left wondering what waiver these guys are talking about and why it pisses them off so much.
If Tunsi would actually spend more time rapping about topics that would give us some insight on who he is, his albums might not be that hard to consume. The music produced by Tunsi himself sounds a lot like generic copies of what’s popular right now, and had Tunsi set out to make generic songs then the beats would be wack. But somehow, beats that mimic crunk and southern synths find a new life when the rapper delivers a message over them.Tunsi shows some lyrical talent with decent battle rhymes on “Introducing” and his social rhymes on “Politics At Work.” Still, Tunsi has much work to do in both the music and lyrical department before he’ll be able to get too many fans behind his cause.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10 Originally posted: March 20, 2007 source: www.RapReviews.com
Michael R. (Mike) Mosher, Saginaw Valley State University:
Tunsi’s Special Delivery makes use of a high banshee descant, comparable to the one enervating “Jump” by Irish-American crew Ace of Bass in 1991. Like a Jamaican dub version, Tunsi provides Special Delivery in an instrumental form as well. Juback’s collaborator Gary Malvin once demonstrated a simple riff “Gordon and Bobby”, whereas Juback exclaimed it was like the mnemonic the high school nerd would use to memorize an electronics formula. Tunsi’s “Whoop De Do” fits that description too, using a smart/stoopid motif as a bed for motormouthed braggadocio, while “Shock Pain” is powered by another, similarly engaging riff. “Politics at Work” is a promising slice of critical dance music, a genre briefly explored in Britain a quarter-century ago like M’s “Pop Music” or something by the Gang of Four. It’s as if only bodies in movement on the dance floor can shake apart a glimpse of the inner workings of the Spectacle. Whereas Oakland’s Tunsi appears to be a one-man production, a studio mastermind along the lines of Prince, the Elephant Tribe of Chicago is a crew. Four faces appear on the cover, which are likely b-knucklez, israel, jay and drunken monkee, for they receive the most numerous songwriting credits on the 27-track CD. Other collaborators–sharing the humility of lowercase names–include demo, rusty, shake, bacardi, brando, turon, billie and phoenix. Illiana obviously wants her name capitalized, thank you. The Elephant Tribe’s Group Therapy CD is a “mix tape”, purchased (possibly from one of the Elephant Tribe) at a table set up on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue one afternoon last August, appropriately a couple blocks from both the Apple Computer store and Tower Records. It has a surprising variety of hip-hop approaches, and plenty of good tracks.
The disc is marred though by the rambling spoken bits attributed to Talman Greed. Perhaps he’s a neighborhood character that the crew finds funny or wise, or perhaps it’s just the kind of foolin’-around indulgence that mars homeboy productions like the movie “Straight Outta Compton.” Beyond the good beats for dancing and grooving, the storytelling, scene-setting and personal boasting, hip hop is also interesting here as that textual artifact, its rap an easily-visualized verbal typography, one that needs to be embodied to be appreciated. Moving body to beat, vertical movement of shoulders and arms like ascenders and descenders on a well-designed letter. As traveling child, this reviewer played a game of looking out train window and pretending a motorcycle rider was rolling over land, treetops, jumping rivers and highways, beside the Chicago-bound train. Elephant Tribe’s wordplay serves as a contemporary soundtrack for that game, the train rolling through Chicago neighborhoods and their south side home. Their boisterous effusiveness sports a Hieronymus Bosch-like excess. Easy to criticize as intemperate until I recall my own college favorites, writers like William Burroughs, Hunter Thompson, and Lester Bangs, none of them circumspect or terse. The listener contrasts the Chicago posse of MCs at the mic, with the Oakland guy who works as one man, one voice and one machine full of beat-making and recording software. M.K. Assante’s essay in the San Francisco Chronicle “We Are the Post Hip-Hop Generation” spoke of how today’s youth that hears this medium institutionalized on most TV commercials directed towards them. Yet both Elephant Tribe and Tunsi see their creativity still flourishing in the hip-hop camp.
TUNSI is a rare artist, a purveyor of Hip Hop that we immensely respect, the Intelligent kind that we so Rarely receive but when we do, all Respect goes out to the artist. Good hip Hop is a rare jewel. Tunsi is out of Oakland, but should hopefully be playing out so y’all should try to se him. He’s got more than this CD and we’d love to get the rest of his work in our Show. Hey, Tunsi. Please send more. We love it.
We don’t normally review rap records but we have in the past and when I received this EP I thought it looked cute. I put it in the player and gave it a few spins and the song that I really dug was “Whoop De Do”. I just love the groove in that song and the lyrics definitely were true. One thing about rap is that it’s not always so much about the musical accompaniment but about what people are trying to tell you. This CD is definitely a social commentary about the way things are. I did however enjoy the instrumental for “Special Delivery”. He manages to incorporate heavy bass grooves and horns and strings with his political and social commentary. It’s good to see that some people are still with the roots of a movement.
Behold A King
Tunsi Label: Parana Records Reviewed By: James Johnson* Solid production can make the difference between a really good album and an extremely bad album, and I honestly think Tunsi took that fact into consideration. His new release, “Behold A King”, is indeed a very good album. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things on this album that need a little work, but for the most part, Tunsi holds his own throughout the entire cd. He shows a great deal of originality in his work, which is good, because you don’t get that from many artists. His lyrical content is pretty good, but he needs to work on how he actually delivers it. There are a lot of good tracks on this offering, but i think the best is the title track, “Behold A King”. All in all, I think that Tunsi did a great job on his first release. Possibly, with the proper marketing and promotion skills, he could push this album to Gold Status. Hell, anything’s possible when you work hard at your craft like he’s doing. Thumbs up, and many more to come with Tunsi: “Behold A King”!
Tunsi delivers a quite good rap-delivery on “Special Delivery” which is his fourth album to date, especially in the tracks where he deliveres a double rap-vocal with one straightforward rap in the center of the soundpicture, while having one a little more melodic a little farther back in the mix. Sounds great when he does that. Another good thing about Tunsi is that he doesn’t sing about guns, ho’s, bitches and fucking all the time.
We don’t get much in the way of rap through the letterbox here at Zeitgeist Towers. I’d hate to think it was due to my poor white trash status. Because that would be wrong. Anyway, Oakland, CA based Tunis has put together a rather splendid EP with the lead track “Special Delivery” particularly fine with its dense, electronic backing and staccato rap. Of the other tracks the Eazy E styled, piano driven “Shock Pain” runs it a close second. Considerably better than most mainstream rap, Tunsi is trying to to look for fresh sounding beats, which makes for a very pleasant change.
Russell Barker, Russellsreviews.co.uk:
This taster EP for Tunsi’s album of the same name is a mighty fine slice of hip hop. The title track is the best track, fast Eminem style delivery over a stalking, bass heavy rap. Wonderfully some odd sound effect in the background makes it sound like Flavor Flav is being strangled by the sheer power of the rap. ‘Whoop De Do’ showcases another side to Tunsi, as it’s a lovely slinky, bouncy laid back groove. Also worth mentioning is ‘Shock Pain’, not as great a tune as the previous too but disarmingly sinister all the same.
With three all’.attivo album (the third “The Antidote” exits in these days in USA), recorded for the Parana Records , Tunsi can consider a veteran, and the difference is felt. Artist of the East Coast, has grown in atmospheres hip hop sin from years ‘ 80, maturing a style that arranges the roots of this music with complex agreements and great contemporaneità. Tunsi personally composes and produces all to pieces of its album, creating quite also the places setting some on which it dominates one alarming photo of a big doll black person, and arranges the raw typical ritmiche of the underground hip hop to its remarkable vocal qualities, from the flow decided and dragging. In these two album the callbacks are strong towards famous artists of the East and West Coast, from the Public Enemy to the Beatnics until Guru and Talib Kweli, but Tunsi is in a position to strongly giving one every personal ink to its composition, with turns out you of absolute relief. In its music you will find influences jazz, ritmiche funky-rap and even the hymn of marines that it introduces Hard Rhymer , one of the brani beautifulr than The Omen . Tunsi is a complete artist, nearly fuor of place in this rubrica dedicated to of the emergent, that it would deserve a place of relief in puts into effect them world-wide panorama hip hop. Listened to these two album if succeeded in reperirli in our storees and judged same you. (MZ)
Macaroni Salad, Whisperinandhollerin.com:
Finally! real hip hop. I’m so tired of hearing “rappers” out today talk about how much money, women and cars they have. I miss the days when hip hop (and music in general) was all about quality and not quantity (i.e. who can sell the most albums). EVERYONE should check this dude out. What’s sad is that most consumers today are so brainwashed to like the crap music that’s out now that when a real artist with actual talent comes along, most people are automatically inclined to dislike it without giving it a real chance. It’s about time someone finally saw the light. Now if only others would wake up and stop letting themselves be brainwashed.
For this particular reviewer, much of today’s Hip Hop/Rap scene seems to be a continuous highway of contradictions and misconceptions. The original ethics of creative anger, political resentment and nonconformist energy, which, for a while, vociferously tugged and poked at the Caucasian heart of the United States are long gone. Ah yes, the good ol’ days. Firstly, the clothes, and the bling. How any so-called disenfranchised young black American can be proud to wear the labels that globally perpetuates the white capitalist system, that, not only, helps to keep them ‘in their place’, but regularly exploits other minorities throughout the world is, well, beyond me. And please, don’t get me started on the pillaging of the African diamond mines over the last couple of centuries. But, to my continuous amazement, the bling seems to be worn like a badge of honor. Secondly, the music. For a good few years now, we’ve been bombarded with watered down, second rate performers trying to drag the genre into the mainstream. But, as everybody knows, Rap and Hip Hop, just like Punk used to be, really only works when it is served up in a hardcore and political form. Thank fuck for artists like TUNSI, then. Operating on a level that the likes Eminem and 50cent can only dream of, Tunsi delivers his hardcore Hip Hop with flashes of creativity that even the great political rapper MC Quake would be proud of. What I’ve got in front of me is a five track sampler for Tunsi’s new, and soon to be released fourth, album, ‘Special Delivery’. Combining what he calls his “underground wisdom” with deep complex beats, horns and strings, Tunsi weaves a wonderfully hypnotic rap driven tapestry. Of course, there’s political discourse in abundance, but the imaginative lyrical content also takes in ironic side-swipes, as well as the impending threat of technology. Title track, ‘Special Delivery’, thumps out a dark, body-moving bass which compliments the intelligent rhymes perfectly. ‘Whoop De Do’ is a long overdue ironic blast at the mega-hyped celebrity industry. Tunsi cynically raps: “All my jewelry comes in two’s, Whoop De Do/ And I’m so well known I’m on the news, Whoop De Do/My crew will stomp you if I choose, Whoop de Do/With these pockets packed how could I lose, Whoop De Do”. Very funny. ‘Shock Pain’, and the brilliant ‘Politics At Work’ help to keep the standard of ‘Special Delivery’ at a high level. Unfortunately, the final track is an unnecessary instrumental of the title track. Still, ‘Politics At Work’ is worth a special mention, mainly due to the fantastic mix of horns and beats. Again lyrically cutting, (“…haven’t got enough time to microwave a potato/So far the educational system is turning your kids into a traitor”), the track is a blast at the increasing politicization of the workplace. It’s strong, powerful and, above all, it’s authentic. So, if, like me, you’ve been bored to death by the recent trashlike conveyer belt that Hip Hop and Rap have to offer, and have been hankering for something more genuine and honest, then you should do yourself a favor and hunt down a copy of Tunsi’s ‘Special Delivery’. Trust me, you’ll not be disappointed.
When I opened Tunsi’s, “Scream” sampler I noticed it certainly stood out from the usual Hip-Hop release due to the mad looking toy baby on the cover. Musically the production has a dark sound whilst the lyrics are attacking rap imitators and fakes. Guru was right when he said “It’s mostly the voice” and Tunsi has an accent that although certainly hailing from the U.S. somehow reminded me of Blade, the long time British underground MC. Scream is taken from Tunsi’s album, “The Antidote” and curious Hip-Hoppers can get over to www.paranarecords.net to check out audio, to buy merchandise and music and to check out that freaky toy baby in a variety of images!
Emil EPMC Prutina:
If first album ( Behold a King, Parana Records, 1999. ) had some small rare misses, the second one ( The Omen, Parana Records, 2001.) was a pure masterpiece bringing a lot of progression in the field of true underground art form of hip hop. Now, two years later after The Omen, third album, The Antidote, is out and it is making clear continuance of his forerunner. The style that Tunsi presents on the new album is almost same as it is on The Omen, minimalist science fiction samples maintained by the raw hip hop beats and vocal with the excellent flow gripping hard with the rest of the content of every track, plus the lyrics with apocalyptic prophecy based on what we live now. However, the difference is that The Antidote is managing to keep progress started on The Omen, in the first place that fact is related to the MC styling which is much harder and sharper this time, and Tunsi jamming down the microphone with much more authority. Probable cause for such effect can be rooted in the fact that Tunsi now, besides love and dedication of his life toward hip hop, have a big amount of experience behind his back. Just let me remind you that he is doing it all alone (production, writing the rhymes, rapping, managing the label, etc.), that means that Tunsi is representing one man army working very hard on every little piece on his own releases. There is no doubt about it, it is reflected through out the music and lyrics, Tunsi with a large dosage of knowledge earns respect that true hip hop fans are having for the whole brigade of new conscious emcees taking over the underground scene (Talib Kweli, Main Flow, Mos Def, Black Thought, etc.). The Antidote is the cure for pain of the modern technological human beings, leaving hearts off the stress, high pressure, headaches, depression and other diseases caused by chronic lack of time. With the Tunsi you can not stay quiet, you have to Scream because it is the only choice you got, and Little Black King of the underground wisdom is back just to tell you that. First single from this new album also includes remixes of tracks from first two albums ( Bionic Man, Rap Assassin) giving them the new shape in which these two classics are turned to sound even better, and totally in the tune with the Scream. The album is good to be used together with prescription which suggests couple of listening in one day if you want to feel the full effect of The Antidote on your body, mind and your soul.
M. Madriaga, B-Boys.com :
As a student, I think it is beautiful to hear music that inspires one to pick up a book, study, and reflect. This is what Tunsi’s ‘Omen’ does for me.
This album is essentially a social critique on the world we live in today that I find to be very necessary to confront the jiggy, oochie-wally bullshit. Utilizing his raw lyrical skillz, he conveys his frustration eloquently.
For instance, the hook on the track ‘Me and Sam’ is indicative of Tunsi’s angst: Mr. Sam, You ain’t my uncle Stop lying! My so-called relative just got my people dying Deception got my brain frying But, I guess it’s a plan to keep our minds in the can.
The synthesis of his intelligent, positive lyrics and phat, head-nodding beats on tracks such as “Captain,” “Artifacts,” “Noise,” and “Lost” is refreshing to the mind and the ear.
The presence of Tunsi in the rap game is a definite plus for the hip-hop underground. I wish we had more MCs like him – original and skillful!
Also, check out the “Behold a King” LP which was Tunsi’s first solo release a couple of years ago. This piece is off the hook and should be recognized as an underground hard-hitting album. It includes several head-nodding joints that must be definitely peeped out – such as: “What have I got?”, “Technology”, and “Can’t stop hip-hop.”
DJ Luscious, HipHop.Net :
Behold a King
TUNSI brings forth his first solo release with nice production and tight flows, all care of the man himself. That’s right….TUNSI produced and rhymed on EVERY cut! Sort of like your West Coast version of J-Zone. The album features some original production which will definitely make you stand up and take notice. On to the cuts:
“The first track is also the title track and it begins with some bugged-out medieval type shit (think) trumpets introducing a new King in the middle ages) which moves into the phat drum kicks and raw guitar riffs of the track itself. More synthy-trumpets come in and then TUNSI spits some braggadocia lyrics…nice flow and a simplistic yet catchy chorus. TUNSI shows his East Coast origins here (originally coming out of Connecticut) – quite a dope mix of West and East Coast styles for the ear drums. “
“Indian style sitars consume the next track titled “Strategy”, also maintaining the deep bass line that fills most of the album. Probably one of the best tracks on the album, the production will definitely keep your head nodding and your cerebellum trying to keep up with TUNSI’s “Lyrics Deep As An Abyss.”
“Kross Me” starts with some synthy gangsta-type production, pretty standard track, nothing amazing, but he does mention the four elements- so props for that.”
“Buck ‘Em In The Underground” features the first cameo by “The Committee” and surprises with a sample of “South Bronx” by BDP!!! One of the better tracks on the album, TUNSI shows he can mix it up and put his mates on and still come correct. “
“S.C. Supreme has a guest appearance on the next track, “Technology” and both he and TUNSI scare the listener with a bleak presentation of reality under a society ruled by technology. Production is dark and semi-thugged out. Lyrics better than the beats on this cut. “
“Ya Decision” tells the story of each man’s struggle to decide on what’s right and what’s wrong, i.e. do I run holdups and pack heat or do I earn minimum wage? A lesson in ignorance and hopelessness, TUNSI shows his storytelling prowess…impressive”.
“The Committee” makes their second guest appearance on “What Have I Got” featuring a nice piano loop and a dope hook c/ – a sample of a woman (circa 1960’s) singing “What have I got…that always seems to please?” TUNSI bashes weak MC’s and shows he is still the number 1 MC on the album, out-rhyming his counterparts from The Committee with a couple of nice verses. This would be my favorite track off the album if it was just TUNSI without his crew.”
“Nigga’s ain’t knowing” is your standard thugged-out track with compressed snares and moog samples but doesn’t really say anything new.”
“Can’t Stop Hip Hop” simply Rocks!!! This track features a crazy sample of a baritone voice repeating “Boh” over and over… listen to the second half of this real audio sampler and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The thundering bass kicks and organ sample keep this track along – forcing you to nod your head feverishly to the beat. TUNSI educates the listener about the state of HIP HOP. The chorus should be Hip Hop’s official commandments: “fake niggas… just can’t stop Hip Hop wack rappers… just can’t stop Hip Hop radio… just cant stop Hip Hop sucka dj’s… just can’t stop Hip Hop major lables… just can’t stop Hip Hop R & B… just can’t stop Hip Hop A & R’s… just can’t stop Hip Hop the media.. just can’t stop Hip Hop”
“Night Rider makes another come back on “Bionic Man” – keeping your head nodding after the fury of the previous track. Dope.”
“The second guest appearance by S.C. Supreme on “Rockmassive” is a bit nicer, his flow improved and he teams up with TUNSI to do work The track features more schooling of wack rappers and commercial Hip Hop and keeps the listeners interested with more dark production like that on “Technology”
“Flight 615” has some very nice strings and melodies for the ear canals of picky listeners. TUNSI relates some of his ill dreams through imaginative storytelling over some very tight production. Dope. “
“The penultimate track “strong” features a cameo by “Cole” and has one of the nicest horn samples I’ve heard in a while. The melody is very watery and keeps you moving to the beat. Tunsi’s production here is Dope+. “
“Rock off these” reminds me a little of “Quite Storm” by Mobb Deep. The simple piano loop is sweet and Tunsi flows nicely over the simple piano loop is sweet and Tuns flows nicely over the compressed drum loop. A nice track to end the album, where once again Tunsi calls out wack MC’s.”
“With several solid on Tunsi’s first album featuring very tight production and ill lyrics, this album is definitely worth a listen. Furthermore, if you like new school west coast production with tight lyrics, this album should be a welcome addition to your crate. Tunsi looks to have a bright future in hip hop, and he isn’t afraid to do it all himself. His talent is evident and his focus to be commended… he does his own promotion and distribution, on top of all the production and ”’MC’ing. Major props Tunsi… “
rating: 7/10 VB’s
Samuel Barker, rockzone.com:
Forget about getting the life support ready, hip-hop is alive and well in the newest release from Tunsi entitled The Omen. Tunsi is the most refreshing thing I’ve heard come out of the hip-hop community in a while. His rhymes are tight and intelligent, and the beats he lays down get the head bouncing. This album isn’t for the brain-dead who want to hear stereotypical banter about smoking weed and hanging with the boys (which can be cool sometimes, don’t get me wrong), The Omen is a verbal assault on the society we live in. It’s a call out to people to pay attention and wake up.
Tunsi does a brilliant job of pointing out the inconsistencies in the government (Uncle Sam) through hard hitting lyrics like “Mr. Sam, you ain’t my uncle stop lying! My so-called relative just got my people dying. Deception got my brain frying, but I guess it’s a plan to keep our minds in the can.” He also touches on the problems with technology taking over (Hidden Signals). He keeps it interesting, and he keeps you thinking throughout the album.
The reoccurring theme in this album is keeping your mind open to living, not becoming a victim. These ideas are strong and well spoken. The lyrics have a feel of such hip-hop/rap acts as Public Enemy and The Beatnigs. They’re intelligent illustrations of the errors in our world.
Let us not forget the foundation on which these ideas are built. Tunsi lays down some of the tightest, hardest hitting beats you’ll ever hear. Some of the early tracks have an eerie touch that fits the songs. The music gives a sense of urgency. Other later tracks bounce at times, Tunsi is talented in making good sounds to backup his lyrical assaults.
This album is something you definitely need to check out. It’s full of socially conscious, humorous skits, and guest appearances that drive the message home. This album isn’t for the weak minded, it’s for the people who love hip-hop beats and like to hear what’s going on in the world, the REAL world.
Tunsi, born and raised on the East Coast is an artist who blends many types of unpredictable styles and delivers raw lyrical talent over strong beats. The Omen is a good album, and what I liked was that there was a consistent production style throughout the album. This is because Tunsi makes his own beats. Tunsi’s style is very underground and it would do well in underground Hip Hop clubs and mixtapes. Try playing this at a club with commercial heads and people might not catch it.
I loved this album especially the track Captain. Tunsi is good with the beats and equally good with the lyrics and delivery. In many ways he reminds me of Divine Styler which should be a compliment. The other tracks I liked was Step Up, Chains Change and Artifacts.
Tunsi is a talented all round Hip Hop artist and would recommend this album anyday.
Behold A King
This is authentic Hip Hop. Tunsi is no stranger to Hip Hop. He is involved with almost every aspect of Hip Hop including bboying. This is his other album and what better way to start it off with Behold A King. As I said before he is really a talented lyricist. The beats are on point and at certain points extremely original. What makes this album great is that you won’t hear this kind of production anywhere else. This is evident when you listen to Strategy which is unique with regards to production.
Man did I freak out on Ya Decision. What a freaking phat track. I’m gonna play this on my radio show.
If you looking for real underground Hip Hop then check out Tunsi. You will not be disappointed.
Highly recommended by AfricasGateway.com. And we don’t say that often.
Lady K, sparechangemagazine.com:
Behold a King
I grew listening to rap and hip hop music, so it’s hard to impress me these days. Everyone wants to be a rapper. They throw a bunch of nursery rhyme bullshit to a drum machine and think they’re a hit. Or they gather a group of 50 of their closest friends and they all take turns yelling into the microphone. Where’s the talent there? What seperates you from the next wannabe rapper? Nothing. What I find most impressive in a rapper is intelligence. How clever are your rhymes? What’s your style? Can I understand a damn word you’re saying? If so, I’m willing to pay attention.
Tunsi is generating a new force in East Coast rap. Representing Hartford, Connecticut, this man posesses some serious lyrical skills. His pronunciation is clear, his voice is smooth, and his rhymes are clever. In the large mass of rap crap out there, this guy clearly stands out.
The only thing I think Tunsi needs to take the rap industry by storm is more hook. To command popular airwaves, people need something to sing along too. Some sort of repetative chorus could nail the market in a second.
On a side note, I wanna see this guy breakdance. It says in his bio that he grew up in the 1980’s spinning records and breakdancing. Maybe I can recruit him for lessons, since we all know I have talent on the cardboard, but no coach. My dreams aside, most rappers out there could learn a serious lesson from Tunsi. Visit Parana Records and have a listen.
A to the L, altrap.com:
Behold a King
Take a look at the album cover. Go on – look at it. Does it say “hardcore Hiphop” to you? Nah, me neither. When I looked at the cover of the album and the title, I was expecting something influenced by the occult. Thankfully, that old reviewer’s theory of never judging an album by its cover raised its head again, as the music on here is a far cry from the somewhat disturbing images that the cover throws up.
Ya see, this IS hardcore Hiphop. Hartford, CT resident Tunsi has dropped a gem of an album which had me comparing his rhyme style with Slick Rick and Rakim, while his top notch production skills seem to show influences from Dre, the Beatnuts and Primo amongst others. Yup, it really IS that good.
From the very first cut, (the title track), I was hooked. Tunsi flows effortlessly over a drum loop that sounds like its been lifted straight from “Shook Ones”. The chorus is a bit bland with its constant chant of “The King”, but overall its a nice way to start the album.
The next track is the one that had me doing an audio double-take – “Strategy” is a mid-tempo thumper featuring an almost middle-eastern styled guitar loop echoing over the beat. The big thing on here was how much Tunsi’s style of emceeing draws comparisons with vintage Rakim. Maybe he’s even aware of it himself, as he drops an “I aint no joke” line in the mix too.
When listening to the album, it quickly becomes clear that Tunsi has a particular style of production on lock. Most of the tracks feature dark brooding basslines, with a sprinkling of ominous pianos and horns. This has its obvious cons… although when the beats are are as hot as this, and the emceeing is as competent as Tunsi brings it, its a little easier to overlook the fact that a few of the tracks are a little similar to each other.
As the album progressed, I was impressed by the uptempo beats and haunting vocal hook on “What Have I Got”, and the creepy string-heavy “Bionic Man”. “Flight 615” features Tunsi in story telling mode, dropping a tale of secret agents, guns, bomb deliveries and all that other James Bond type stuff.
Standout cuts? Well a couple really jumped out at me, mainly due to the high standards of the production. The smooth ass jazz loop on “Rock Massive” compliments a snappy kick / snare combo that had me nodding my head. Again Tunsi flows lovely on this, showing that mid-tempo tracks are the ones he seems to feel most comfortable blessing. “Strong” features a beautiful muted trumpet loop in the background, as Tunsi spits over a watery beat.
There are a few letdowns too though – “Nigga’s Ain’t Knowin'” is almost TOO clean in its production, leading to an artificial fell to the track. “Can’t Stop Hip Hop” features a terrible vocal sample from what sounds like one of those barber shop quartets. The minimal beat doesn’t distract attention away from it either, leading to difficulty in actually hearing what Tunsi is saying.
Overall though this is a solid effort. Tunsi seems to be one of the gifted, like J-Zone and Celph Titled, who can hold down the mic and the production side of things with equal skill, and it would be a shame not to give him a chance to impress. You should pick this up if you can find it.
Again with this spooky looking child on the cover! This one is even more disturbing than the “Behold A King” cover – this time we have nothing else to focus on but the cold, vacant stare of the doll. Couple that with the title, and THIS time I was anticipating a horrorcore album of sorts.
The first cut, “The Omen Intro” actually reinforces this theory with is backing track consisting of a slow down sampled of the haunting classical piece from the flick of the same name. Throw in a few crows “caw-cawing” and the daunting and disturbing backdrop is complete. Just like last time though, Tunsi flips the script again – no horrorcore, no ghosts, no demons – just straight up scientific knowledge being kicked in the same manner that attracted me the previous album. Dope.
More dope tracks follow – “Captain” with its catchy scratched hook, and fantastic stings sample, “Hard Rhymer” which features a dark bassline and a hard snare where Tunsi’s “Rakim-ness” surfaces again in combination with a Chuck D and Kool G Rap driven chorus, and one of the album’s standout cut “Done Done It” – a track that features Tunsi trading verse with his Skoolboard click with Toxic over a straight up battle styled, old-school favored backing. Also worth checking for is the dope wordplay on “Take You Back”, where Tunsi reminisces on Hiphop days gone by, over a simple punchy track with a memorable female hook.
Unfortunately things aren’t as cohesive as the previous album. Part of the reason is the length of the album – at 25 tracks, it seems that a lot of filler seemed to sneak into the final lineup. Although cuts like “Hidden Signals” and “Me And Sam” offer some pretty intelligent looks at humanity losing its soul to technology on the former, and government corruption on the latter, the message is lost in some poorly produced and fairly uninspiring tracks. Another downer is the amount of pointless skits on here. There’s really no reason why they should appear – they add nothing to the tracks preceding or following them, and nothing to the overall album as a whole.
Overall, this ain’t as strong as “Behold A King”. It does have its bright moments, but ultimately these are overshadowed by the amount of weaker cuts on the album. If you’ve got a choice I’d pick up “BAK” first, before making a decision on this one. I’m definitely interested in how Tunsi comes back in the future though – there’s no doubt he has genuine talent, and it would be a shame not to hear more from him.
Ever heard of this guy? No me neither, but in a world of waste and glitter it’s hard to hear all the Hip Hop from everywhere, especially if you are a true UK Hip Hop head its hard to check all the UK crews let alone the underground crews from the States. Tunsi is from Oakland California on Parana Records, and what’s more he’s good. Now I aint saying he is the best thing since sliced bread cos I don’t think he is. The unfortunate position that Tunsi is in is that there are so many crews in America trying to come out, which the majority are wic, wic, wack! But this gets pass marks.
This 25 track, that’s right Twenty Five (although there are a few skits in there) make up “The Omen”. I used to be right into the whole Horror core Hip Hop, which Tunsi will no doubt already have been labeled, with samples from Omen kicking off the LP clearly laying down the ethos of the album. Now it also has to be said that there are skits on the album that I have no idea what they are doing there, and what they have to do with the following tunes is anyone’s business? Tunsi, himself a good Emcee, but not the best I have heard it has to be said, flows throughout the LP and never falls into the category of talking utter nonsense. He clearly is an enemy to glitter and bullshit lyrics and girls in bikinis in videos. This being a breath of fresh air.
With Tunsi, you get what you get. You get the truth, you don’t get the lies, the wanna be life, the gun toting, crack running, bitch slapping ra, ra, ra. None of that is present on the LP, and that is good to hear. I wouldn’t say that this is amazing, I wouldn’t even say that this is a must for the collection. But what I would say is that it is a breath of fresh air across a minefield of stinking corpses of weak tunes and fake rappers. Tunsi soar above all of this and makes it to the other side with flying colors. I only hope Tunsi can continue and elevate to the next level to start canceling out the filth that runs the top of US Hip Hop.
John D, otis2.com:
You know how a big muscle car sort of rumbles. You know it’s powerful when it’s just sitting there idling. The Omen is like a big muscle car. The disc has 25 tracks. Tunsi’s voice is compelling. His lyrics are heady. His rap is on time, every time. Tunsi produced every track. He raps and sequences. The music on this disc is great. He’s used a variety of styles of music to create a powerful presence. There are several ‘stories’ included. Track 6 is the cops showing up at your door telling ya’ to turn your tunes down. Then you sick a dog on ’em. Good clean fun. 25 songs – not a looser in the bunch. How many rappers can do that? Not many. You like rap? Spend some cash to get this disc.
Another surprise comes with Tunsi and the omen. How many indie rappers have music sense? Not many. And the ability to mix thug life with intelligence, comedy and a story line is almost fuckin dead. Brilliant use of sound bytes adds to the omens power. Someone would seriously be well served to sign this man. Tunsi is tearin it up and not lookin back.
Behold a King
Groove, drive and melody. Tunsi has a flow and style that makes this song roll and bounce. This is one killer tune.
Well crafted beats and raps come together to form truly superlative songs. Saying this disc is solid is an understatement. Behold A King is chock full of master creations.
Underground MC and Producer Tunsi has already released 2 albums on Oakland-based label Parana records (Behold a King and The Omen). Most productions and lyrics are dark and spare and you’ll sure feel that he does what he does with skills and sincerity, as they say,but also with ambition : there are many tracks on his albums and they both CDs lack the density that’ll prevent you from skipping tracks. Not always easy to digest though some tracks clearly stand out. Take for example ” Rock Off These ” on Behold a King (1999) and on the B-side of the 12 inches by the same name…a good cold-blooded piece that’s also a good introduction to Tunsi’s universe.
Another surprise comes with Tunsi and the omen. How many indie rappers have music sense? Not many. And the ability to mix thug life with intelligence, comedy and a story line is almost fuckin dead. Brilliant use of sound bytes adds to the omens power. Someone would seriously be well served to sign this man. Tunsi is tearin it up and not lookin back.
Tunsi is a solo artist who combines his hip-hop roots and unique style of rap to make what has been described as “underground style”. The outcome? ‘The Omen’ and ‘Behold a King’ written, produced and recorded by the man himself. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to reviewing these CD’s because as any avid hOOchy* fan will know, I’m not exactly hip hops biggest fan, in fact to be perfectly honest, I hate it. But as soon as the first track of ‘Behold a King’ started I was actually quite surprised. Although there was the usual one beat throughout (which I guess is what hip hop is so there’s no escaping it) there was also some pretty damn cool music with it. Track 2 is somewhat different to the first, it has less of an unusual beginning and more of what I was first expecting, pretty much repetitive backing music and strong lyrics, although this is way better than anything I’ve heard from this kind of artist before, that could be because I’m making myself listen to it with an open mind (never let it be said we weren’t professional!) or maybe it because Tunsi has great talent as a rapper. The rest of this CD is pretty much similar throughout. Some start with really funky music, some just have the lyrics kick in straight away. Track 7 ‘What have I got’ (featuring The Committee) has really nice lyrics added to it and its surprising what a difference this makes, (think Eminem and Dido and you’ll catch my drift). ‘The Omen’ Is virtually the same as ‘Behold a King’ although im sure there is a big difference somewhere, but with me not being up with all this I really couldn’t tell you what it was, infact I couldn’t even tell you what the difference between each song was, (que rappers screaming back at computer screen). Before listening to Tunsi, I always thought there was a big difference between rap and hip-hop but after hearing how effortless he combines the two, I’m now not so sure. There’s probably some hardcore rappers or hip-hoppers out there screaming at me through their computer screens for that comment so I think I should remind everyone again how little I know regarding this kind of music. I was expecting Tunsi to be as boring as any other hip hop act I’ve heard, but he’s proved to be much more than that. He is obviously an extremely talented artist who deserves great recognition in the rap industry and I’m nearly 100% sure he will achieve this. In my opinion is better than any of the other acts around at the moment, In fact I may even go as far as saying I was pretty impressed, although I would never be tempted to swap my trusty guitar for a bit of freestyling, I might be a little (and I mean a little) bit more tolerant to rap and hip hop in the future, and that Tunsi, is something to be very proud of!