Tasman Keith – To Whom It May Concern (REVIEW)
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
With Tasman taking to Instagram live on the day of the mixtape’s release we thought it best to ask him a question. “What question do you wish you would get asked more of in interviews?”. His response; “I don’t really mind being asked any sort of question, just stop with the Kendrick comparisons”. Obviously, the question we asked was intent on learning what Tasman would like to say more of had he been given the opportunity. What we got in response was undeniably even more powerful.
Tasman Keith is his own entity; self-actualised to the fullest extent whereby his music transcends standard hip-hop tropes. Media outlets, ourselves included, need to appreciate Tasman for the stake he’s claimed at the Australian hip-hop table, rather than feeling a need to ‘validate’ his listenability to those unexposed to him through comparisons, because inherently, there is no comparison. All we can say is that you need to just listen to him for yourself. If this mixtape is anything to go by, we’re certain you won’t be disappointed.
What a start to the mixtape. There is plenty of self-assured attitude in this intro track, with the ‘call-and-response’ style chorus and echoey backing vocals setting the scene for a project which is filled to the brim with unrivaled production. The production work on ‘10SPEED’ by Oscar Hobbes Neufeld is moody and striking, absorbing the listener heavily in to Tasman’s world. It’s a world typified by death, hypocrisy and anger. But Tasman doesn’t want your sympathy, he’s simply here to open your eyes and to put his home on the map.
'65' ft Wire MC & Gamirez
‘65’ is a track which comes together perfectly, with its eerie production giving Tasman the platform to unload some heavy bars that would leave any of his doubters backtracking. The lyrical expertise of rapper Gamirez is brought in to perfectly complement Tasman as he powers home the point that he’s killing the game and that there’s nothing standing in his way.
The lead single from this mixtape sees Tasman making it clear that he won’t be boxed in, as he conveys in the chorus; “woah out the way, get out the way, get out the way, got em out the way”. Tasman’s flow and rhyming on this track is incredible, with the aforementioned refrain acting as a bridge between each of Tasman’s supreme verses and a killer third act that takes it to a whole other level.
‘THESE DEVILS’ echoes the conclusion of ‘CONFIDENT’, but to an even greater degree. This track is a gutter punch to the senses, giving Tasman the opportunity to intuitively hammer home some truths about the society around us, too much of which we inherently ignore as a wider populous. The production from Tasman’s brother Kapital J, in tandem with Kwame, is explosive and grasps your attention from the start. The track concludes with Tasman speaking to us, the listener, to ensure that we understand who the true devils are in order for us to instigate change.
'ANSWER' ft Parissa Tosif
Having given us a taste of this incredible track at his live show, we couldn’t wait to hear this properly alongside the rest of the mixtape. ‘ANSWER’ takes on a more solemn, introspective route when compared to the rest of the mixtape. Tasman, alongside the wonderfully suited Parissa Tosif, muses on being trapped in the search for answers to the struggles he sees in himself and around him in his community. What stands out about this track and has always been clear with Tasman’s work, emotional vulnerability is a significant tool in the path to authenticity; something the Bowraville native has in abundance.
It has undoubtedly been a massive year for the Bowraville born and raised Tasman Keith. Tasman kicked off the year with March release ‘Nightmares on 9th’, following it up with an insane appearance on Red Bull’s ’64 Bars’ segment in August. In the lead-up to the release of ‘To Whom It May Concern’, Tasman featured alongside Jessica Mauboy on Australian icons Midnight Oil’s song ‘First Nation’, as well as providing fantastic vocals on Kuya James’ ‘No Country (Piano in F Minor)’. But the year wasn’t wrapped up just yet. With this mixtape, Tasman Keith has hand-delivered to listeners an exceptional release, one which provides insight in to his own mental fortitude and resilience in the face of the world around him.
This mixtape seemingly represents Tasman stepping out of ego in order to embrace true self-assuredness. Through ‘To Whom It May Concern’, Tasman is vocalising that his confidence is now unflappable because it is driven from a place that is ultimately true to him. The mixtape’s title is in of itself a way for Tasman to cut ties with not only those who aren’t in support of him, but with his own ego. By accepting who he really is and not getting caught up in self-doubt, Tasman is able to focus on the music and to let it do the talking for him. And does it ever. With the drop of this mixtape last Friday, Tasman signaled his intent to not only end the year captivating listeners, but to head in to 2021 with confidence aplenty on his side.
Originally published December 15th, 2020.