Emp Tafari is a freestyle rapper and native of Harlem, NY. His latest project “Pops Named Me Emperor”, delivers a personal look into the life of the artist, via 8 motivational, relatable and emotionally deep tracks. The project clearly shows the rapper at his lyrical best, and the surplus of consistency in both the flow and beats on this record, push it into the total enjoyment zone. Fans and listeners should be happy that Emp Tafari is willing to progress lyrically, unlike so many of his fellow rappers. Tafari’s style is basically a controlled intensity, so that he always seems to sound like he’s comfortably cruising when he’s rapping, but if you mess with him on the mic, he’ll probably kill you.
Of course, Emp Tafari’s rhymes are only one part of the equation. The production on this recording is absolutely stellar, accompanying the rapper’s narratives perfectly. Tafari tries his hand at all different sorts of beats on “Pops Named Me Emperor”, and succeeds with each.
The rapper is no stranger to Rap’s ever-changing landscape, and a run through his catalog serves as the best evidence of his versatility. It’s not exactly revolutionary to say most hip-hop records are too long. I could rattle off more than twenty records that could have been straight-up classics if they’d been cut to less tracks.
So when Emp Tafari brings eight tracks on “Pops Named Me Emperor”, you know he has cut off all the excess fat, leaving only the very best lean meat. The sensation is instantly confirmed with the opening track, “2h To Death”, built on a mesmerizing beat and an explicit narrative.
“Hard To Understand” rides on a dominant piano motif, and makes Emp Tafari sound like the king of the hill as he sings: “Either you fear love, or you love fear.” The track “P.N.m.E” immediately feels different. Right down to its vibrant percussion and resonant keyboards, Emp Tafari is more assured than ever, as he works his way through this one
Tafari doesn’t need dramatic fictional soundscapes to explore his artistic values, his own realistic ideas often speak for themselves. And “Chicken & Biscuits” lays it on the line clearly for all to see. Emp Tafari is an artist to never settle, striving to push his style to new places with each new track.
“Doubt Me” shows off yet another sharp left turn in the artist’s mindset as he flexes his flow on top of an eclectic beat. While admittedly ambitious, throughout the recording, Emp Tafari’s flows never attempt to overwhelm. They are tight and complementary to the production. At a lyrical level, he opts to focus on his strengths: observant bars and captivating storytelling.
He pulls successfully off this formula time and time again. His verses are packed to the brim with quick poignancy, and tracks such as “From The Bottom” and “Invisible Thoughts”, highlight his ability to craft interesting stories out of the day-to-day.
Emp Tafari is simply extremely sharp for the entire duration of this project, and that’s an underrated quality for an album to possess. And he does this right until the end with the smooth chill of the closing track, “Someone Like You”. Emp Tafari once again has found a way to push his own personal envelope, a remarkable feat for an individual with an already consistent track record of releases.