It has been three years since the release of a Steve Cantrell project, but on August 17 that changed. The Sylvester, GA born-artist released what is arguably his best work to date under the name of The EP Tape Demo Project.
#TETDP was led by “Deliver This Message” and “Willie Mays” as singles in the early parts of 2015 and have gained 4K plays apiece on Soundcloud. The project shows a few different sides of the artist as a result of personal battles he has dealt with over the years as well as new creativity. The project begins on a semi dark path with ambient sounds drowning out subtle drums and Cantrell’s vocals. The second verse of “Intro” shows Cantrell emerging from that dark shadow and leading into a confident, braggadocios Cantrell on “They Don’t Rap No Mo’”. One thing to be said about Cantrell in his many verses and projects is that he has always been a steady middle ground of confidence and humility. What is noticeable about the second song and the rest of the rest of the project is that he is more confident than he has ever been but not to a point where he’s gotten cocky.
On top of ‘They Don’t Rap No Mo’”, “Lied To Know” puts the period at the end of the confidence statement. A more personal song than the previous but the delivery in this track matches the lyricism from “No Mo’”. Fans learn that school wasn’t for Steve (GA Southern) as it may have been thought to be and instead he’s putting more focus on his true dream of creating music.
This project isn’t all lyricism and hardcore delivery as Cantrell’s shifts vibes in “Unconditional” featuring Tone Jonez and “Dreamr”. “Unconditional” is a touch to the female listeners and the latter caters as a reminder to Cantrell as well as anyone listening with a dream to keep pushing forward.
The second single, “Willie Mays”, comes in sixth place on the tracklist but it’s definitely top five for me on this project. Cantrell reiterates “It’s all on us” coming out of the first and second verse that builds upon the message in “Dreamr” of going after what’s important. Cantrell swims through a haunting current of violin strings for four minutes with what seems like no effort.
“DGAF” and “Like Father, Like Son” are my personal favorites. “DGAF” is the type of track you listen to in the background of those “squad goals” IG photos or when you’re done worrying about the thoughts of others but I’ll leave it to you to listen. The second of my favorites features another GA-native, 6LACK, who has been creeping his way on to a lot of upcoming artists’ projects lately. I don’t want to spoil thes two tracks too much so give them a listen for sure. “No Time To Waste” is another track that can appeal to both the male and female fans and could easily be on the radio now featuring Corey Jones. (Corey Jones sounds like Chris Brown’s cousin on this track).
On the final note of the project, Cantrell decides to “Deliver This Message”. In the outro, we learn that the Freedom Fighter movement that Steve was once a part of has been on pause. The rapper talks about seeing childhood friends not reach their potential and the end of his last relationship. Despite all of the troubles, he sings “there’s love in the air again”, showing that there is a brighter day to come. And who can turn down some positivity in this day and age?
“Give it all we got/Pray that that’s enough” is the lasting impression that listeners can take from “They Don’t Rap No Mo’” and this project as a whole. Steve Cantrell is set on making it with his music and is working to make sure that every step forward is beneficial to making that happen. Visit his Soundcloud to hear #TETDP and visit YouTube for the bonus track, “Public Speaking”, a visual crafted by Bloo Woods.