After work behind the boards both for himself and as a purveyor of tracks for Strange Music artists Kutt Calhoun and Stevie Stone, Kansas City product Tali Blanco steps out with his own solo debut, Gettn 2 It. He largely delegates the production work, as the intro is the only track on the seven-song EP accredited to Blanco himself. Trackstarz, Demolish Beatz and DJ Pain 1 round out the cast of producers, but Tali Blanco’s time providing tracks for his cross-town brethren pays dividends in the form of a feature from Tech N9ne. And the Strange Music co-founder delivers with a potent verse that’s equally funny, lecherous and bilingual.
Tali occasionally falls flat with punchlines and subjects that border on being trite. After spending the bulk of his album’s intro admonishing generic emcees to stop playing follow the leader, “No Worries” recycles some of the same current Rap tropes (turning up, both Molly and Miley and the well worn “pull up to the club…” theme). Similarly, the aforementioned “Salute Me,” contains the following:
“See I / Be upon my grown man B.I. / And I’m so fly, these bitches think that I / Am they whole sky / I’m like no lie / I’m a Big Mac, and you’s a small fry…”
Those missteps aside, the EP’s strongest moments don’t come in the form of attempts at lyrical pyrotechnics, but rather when Tali Blanco is playing to his strengths: crafting rhymes the average 99-percenter can relate to over tailor-made production. “Gettn 2 It” belies its floss-worthy title, as it’s actually a working man’s anthem decorated by deep 808s. Tali Blanco’s ability to run through the random details of his day such as praying, lighting up some reefer in his car and making sure to wash his hands after a morning piss are the type of relatable quirks artists like Devin the Dude and Curren$y have used to build careers. In this case, the KC spitter isn’t so much selling cool as indirectly preaching the gospel of the blue-collar hustle.
For an official debut, Tali Blanco is surprisingly adept with the rhythm and pacing of his flows. “Timeless” is a clinic in double-time rhyming, powered by his expert use of a four syllable cadence over an airy backdrop. Despite the subject matter or production, Tali Blanco’s delivery remains varied and technically precise. And his time pulling double duty as a rapper/producer serves him well; he expertly balances both, keeping the production choices interesting and choosing tracks that compliment him.
Gettn 2 It is a collection of melodic, endearing Rap that by and large doesn’t take itself too seriously. Tali Blanco stays in his lane of working-class anecdotes matched with rhythmic production and delivery—which benefit him on the few occasions when he’s overly reliant on clichés. He delivers a solid debut that is uniquely Midwestern but easily appreciated by listeners from any region.