‘Tangent’ reaffirms that Yibby is an artist unbound by genre
South East Sydney artist Yibby released his latest dynamic project, ‘Tangent’, to the world last Thursday. ‘Tangent’ is Yibby’s follow-up to his 2019 5-track EP ‘Lost in translation’, with the latest project effectively building on the impressive precedent set by that debut effort. And if ‘Lost in translation’ demonstrated Yibby’s fearlessness in experimenting with his music, ‘Tangent’ is a bold and confident reiteration of the fact that Yibby refuses to be bogged down by genre or outside perspectives. Thematically, the EP traverses both Yibby’s internal monologue and his wider perceptions of the world that surrounds him. It is equal parts intimate and universal in what it explores.
Produced by Kid Fiction and production duo Clockwork Odyssey (which is made up of Tim Mann and Don Sahand, who also mixed and mastered the whole project), ‘Tangent’ elicits varying sounds that are both comforting and confronting to the listener. Each track is distinguished by its own unpredictable and unique sonic aesthetic, meaning that we as the listener are left constantly captivated by the dichotomy of solemn and playful moments that typify the whole project. Furthermore, the multitude of soundscapes that Yibby explores throughout ‘Tangent’ is reflective of the title itself, with the young artist evoking an expansive collection of influences and leanings to formulate his own varied streams of consciousness into one concise project.
‘Tangent’ embodies the idea of an ‘entrance theme’ wholeheartedly. The eponymous track pairs Yibby’s signature irregular, relaxed flow with shuffling drums and piercing, distorted synth keys that instantly leaves the listener hooked on every word Yibby spits. Though, this one will need an immediate relisten because that production will hit hard and you’ll miss some of Yibby’s exceptional and unfiltered bars. ‘Tangent’ presents Yibby with the opportunity to breakdown his own mental fortitude and desire to keep his cards close to his chest, particularly in the faces of those who bring negative intentions with them: “I don’t show my hands, undercover Trojans”. The outro sees Yibby emphatically reiterating that he’s on his own pathway, and no one will get in his way.
‘Cigar’ ft Lord Apex
‘Cigar’ sees Yibby’s outstanding lyrical ability come to the fore as he dissects the mentalities of those who refuse to evolve and push out of their comfort zone in order to truly pursue self-excellence. Featuring West London rapper Lord Apex, ‘Cigar’ balances the talents of both artists, with Lord Apex delivering a wicked and hazy chorus in between a verse dedicated to the often blurry and all-consuming highs that come with success. The psychedelic and surreal production that runs throughout ‘Cigar’ allows the listener to take a step back and absorb Yibby and Lord Apex’s reflective musings whilst unwinding themselves.
From the outset, you’re drawn in by the ambience of ‘Plot’, a track that highlights Yibby’s refusal to be identical to anyone in his approach to his artistry whilst having to negotiate the vices and challenges that he admits are difficult to overcome. The track itself speaks to this notion categorically, with the surprising inclusion of a trumpet accentuating the balance of bombastic 808s and enhanced instrumentals that illustrate the obscure and confusing plotline Yibby is attempting to navigate.
‘Chess Not Checkers’ ft Arno Faraji
This bouncy, uncompromising effort features Perth artist and boundary-pusher Arno Faraji, who brings plenty of energy to an already lively track. ‘Chess Not Checkers’ is Yibby and Arno’s statement of intent against a society that continually oppresses those deemed insignificant, and against an industry filled with ego and self-appointed figureheads. Faraji’s delivery glides perfectly along this beat, and his lyrics reaffirm that he’s leagues ahead of those who choose to believe otherwise. Yibby’s demonstrates plenty of versatility with his flow across his verses and chorus on this track, going toe-for-toe with Arno.
‘Amount’ ft Chanel Loren
Undeniably, ‘Amount’ is a track that would have pushed Yibby outside of his comfort zone. But, we’re certainly glad he did so because the final product is gorgeous. Chanel Loren’s inimitable vocals are wonderfully-suited to this track as they draw the listener in and prepare them for something different within the overarching EP. The production on ‘Amount’ is undeniably euphoric and beautifully matches Chanel and Yibby’s empowering lyrics that are a testament to the lengths both artists are willing to go to for those they love. As a listener, you are left intimately connected with the selflessness and unconditional love that is engrained in this track.
‘NO. ID’ ft Black Josh
‘NO. ID’ is a commanding track which sees Yibby speaking on his dedication to rising above the challenges, definitions and perceptions thrown at him. The addition of Manchester rapper, Black Josh, accentuates the transparent wisdom advocated for by Yibby, with both artists seeking to question the constructs and limitations that they see in the world around them. The electronically-infused production on this track is a standout, as it adds plenty to the weighty lyrics expressed by both artists.
Packed with plenty of futuristic and surreal production, ‘Kick’ provides Yibby with the chance to speak on life’s pleasures. The Sydney rapper speaks intimately on a love that figuratively knocks him off his feet and leaves him swept up in everything about this special someone: “You make my Nikes feel less pricey, I don’t do the star signs but I aligned ‘em.” Yibby shines on the chorus of this track, bringing his standout off-kilter flow to an authentic expression of a deeper love that he’s feeling.
‘End 2 End’
Regardless of when or how it ends, Yibby is committed to remaining authentic to himself and what drives him. ‘End 2 End’ is a lyrically-driven conclusion to this EP that sees Yibby hitting the listener with bar after bar of crafty lyrical energy. The Sydney rapper is forthright on this track, making reference to his own aforementioned tangent that he remains steadfast in committing to. As the song comes to an end, a voice message plays out that speaks to the impact Yibby is having on others by remaining true to himself in making music that disregards self-doubt and charges full throttle towards self-assuredness.
The overriding natural ability that Yibby possesses allows him to approach every track on this EP with complete and utter confidence. As a listener, our experience is then accentuated as every track is given the room to be its own entity, with Yibby delivering all 8 tracks on this EP with poise, marking each song with a wisdom and sophistication that reflects his self-awareness and talent.
There is a tangible magnetism that lies in the way Yibby constructs each of his tracks with intrepid intent. As the listener, we are left inspired to stay true to us, what we love and what we want to achieve in the short time we have on this planet. Ultimately, ‘Tangent’ is Yibby’s way of letting us know we can follow our own path, regardless of how anyone tries to define or constrain us.
Cover Art by Musonga Mbogo (@musonga.m)
2nd Yibby Picture by David Ignatius Mahon (@dvdmhn)
Words by Matthew Badrov