Lil Tecca is already at a pivotal moment in his young career. His track “Ransom” has climbed up the Billboard Hot 100 and performed remarkably well on streaming services, exposing him to a broader fanbase. With one hit single under his belt, Tecca has a chance to escape SoundCloud purgatory and prove his range.
Unfortunately, his debut mixtape We Love You Tecca is a repetitive collection of mostly muddled tracks that only occasionally show promise.
One of the mixtape’s only positive attributes is the brevity of the songs. Though the project as a whole is monotonous, he does manage to crank out a few tracks that are succinct bangers. These successes are in the first quarter of the mixtape. “Ransom” has Tecca perfectly bouncing along to a catchy, shimmery beat, while “Shots” shows that he can effortlessly jump between rapping and crooning.
As a mixtape, experimentation and failure should be a given. However, We Love You Tecca features too many drafts of the same lukewarm ideas. “Did It Again,” “Left, Right” and “Out of Luck” sound like generic piano-key and trap-beat hybrids; each one is more boring and lazy than the previous attempt. There are numerous rappers out there occupying the same lane with more flair and originality.
“Out of Luck” covers the well-worn trope of an artist being wary of his sudden notoriety. But there’s nothing really profound at play here; Tecca raps about noticing that on Instagram, a famous person will meet both fans and haters. In a pre-chorus, he throws taunts at his faceless internet enemies: “They say that ‘This n***a a fuckin’ nerd/ Wonder why they seeing me lately/ Wonder why they bitch wanna date me/ Wonder why they cannot escape me/ Wonder why some goofy n***a on the internet richer than them with brace teeth.”
Tecca will have to get a bit more introspective than merely complaining about rude internet comments if he actually wants to be compelling or unique.
Scattered throughout the mixtape, there are some songs with potential. With its playful sample, “Bossanova” offers a sense of relief and liveliness. “Love Me” has a pleasant dancehall vibe and for the most part, Tecca does a good job rapping along with the groove. It could have easily been a highlight if it weren’t for some questionable production choices — the heavy Auto-Tune and bizarre helium effects that don’t bode well with the more organic, breezy beat.
The final track, a Juice WRLD remix of “Ransom,” shows a way forward for Tecca. In his short verse, WRLD manages to cram more personality than the entire project combined.
Perhaps if Tecca can get help from more seasoned artists and didn’t always have to carry all the weight himself, his music wouldn’t be so grating.