As UK Month at RapReviews draws to a close, it was long overdue for yours truly to get a piece of the action. Too Many T’s offered me the perfect opportunity by offering their entire “Running Wild EP” for free through their website. Their eager publicist found a quote from The Huffington Post he felt summed up the group perfectly – “The UK’s answer to the Beastie Boys” – and that kind of hyperbole necessitates further investigation.
“Butter Rug” is a posse song for an artist you barely know with more you’ve never heard before. That’s fine though. I don’t know anything about Jester Jacobs or Kathika Rabbit, but they don’t do anything to hurt the song either. The humorously named Uncle Bad Touch could be trying to give MMA’s Uncle Creepy a run for his money, but in the meantime he shows a deft manipulation of drums in the backdrop, with a distinctive hollow ring of a stick slapping a drum head that’s slightly too tight. It’s the small elements like that which separate one dope instrumental from the thousands of producers trying to make their name out there.
I can’t say that I’ve heard “1992 Pt. I” before this EP’s release, but “Pt. II” definitely lives up to the Beastie Boys billing. It features the kind of floating flute sample that’s eerily reminiscent of when the Boys dropped the anthemic hip-hop and you don’t stop b-boy break of “Sure Shot.” Even the scratching is reminiscent of DJ Hurricane, although the Main Source drops from “Fakin’ the Funk” are in this case manipulated by Featurecast. It’s a high energy UK rap that if you weren’t paying attention to the accent would sound exactly like a US rap group on a 90’s throwback kick. The production from Lumbering Giant is anything but – it’s light and nimble.
There’s a lighthearted carefree sound to Too Many T’s that’s almost directly at odds with their UK counterparts. A lot of what washes up on U.S. shores is heavy on the grime and the crime, laced with dour social commentary on British racism. There’s nothing wrong with addressing serious ills in a serious manner, but there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun either. “Wish I Never” featuring HypeMan Sage is nothing too hard – it’s an insincere list of regrets like “I wish I never drank/wish I never smoked/wish I never dabbled with the brandy or coke/wish I’d gone home/wish I’d stayed home/wishin that I’d listened to my mom on the phone.” Despite that confession the Dex Lutha produced track comes off as a tribute TO enjoying the party life, without the overly simplistic rhyme schemes of a party rap act like LMFAO. If you had any doubt the song’s closer verse nails it: “Truth is, I don’t regret a thing.”
I don’t regret downloading the “Running Wild EP” either. If you’re the kind of fence-sitter who thinks “I can’t get into British rap because of the accents,” this is the perfect way to get your butt off the rail. It’s an easy album to get through – in fact at only 30 minutes long it actually goes by a little TOO fast. From the funky horns and fat Pharoahe Monch scratching of the “Salt Shaker” opener to the cannabis laced “Smoking Goodies” featuring Sparkz to close, it’s a fast trip through the life and times of Too Many T’s – a UK export I want to import more from.