Though 2023 is already starting to pick up speed with its recent influx of high-profile releases and album announcements, there are still a few loose ends that need to be tied up before we dive head-first into the new year.
Few artists have dominated headlines recently like NC-born TiaCorine. Between her viral psychedelic deep-cut “Freaky T”, the success of her debut LP I Can’t Wait, and her placement on our 2023 Artists to Watch list, it seems like the praise is long-overdue.
From Duke Deuce appearances in her music videos to UnoTheActivist co-signs in her music, TiaCorine has quickly established herself as one of hip-hop’s most promising burgeoning stars. Armed with a unique affinity for clever songwriting and palpable levels of charm, TiaCorine’s I Can’t Wait was one of the most refreshing and forward-thinking projects to come out last year.
I Can’t Wait is a record whose rarified energy is just as imaginative as it is understated. Featuring verses from plugg/cloud rap icons Tony Shhnow and UnoTheActivist, as well as production from Honorable C.N.O.T.E., Kenny Beats, and Curtis Waters, I Can’t Wait feels like a fifteen-track love letter to the South and those who preceded it. Despite this, TiaCorine holds nothing back when it comes to pushing hip-hop’s cultural canon forward.
The project’s opening track “Beamie” can only be described as borderline cinematic, with ethereal synth layers and mechanical production serving as the perfect foundation for TiaCorine to immediately grab your attention. Flexing her vocal talents alongside UnoTheActivist, the two trade melodic verses while lost in the hazy ambiance of I Can’t Wait’s opening moments – a moment that thankfully ends up being just one of many highs while running through the project.
It’s impossible to talk about I Can’t Wait without carving out a section to talk about “Freaky T”, the experimental plugg banger that seems likely to become TiaCorine’s most-streamed track over the coming weeks. Directed, edited, and colored by whoisreef, “Freaky T” sees TiaCorine thriving surrounded by her friends, Duke Deuce, and an iced-out Kirby chain. Over a mind-bending mix, TiaCorine delivers each line like its own individual punch, all the while maintaining her signature playful tone and demeanor – indicating that the connection between Kirby and TiaCorine goes deeper than just the chain.
When she isn’t making fans leap out of their seats with her classic “oh yeah!“ adlibs, TiaCorine is busy handing out futuristic bangers like they were burning a hole in her pocket. “Paris Hilton” is a perfect example of this – a hard-hitting bop that spares no expense when it comes to boundary-pushing energy and painstakingly-polished writing. TiaCorine’s delivery of the track’s opening, “Bitches at the tizzy top / Paris Hilton, Bitch I’m hot / Smoking in the bathroom / Cocaine pussy pop” is just as iconic as Paris Hilton herself. Despite I Can’t Wait being decorated with endless moments of hip-hop ingenuity, there are still tracks where TiaCorine shines while far beyond her comfort zone.
“Rockstar” and “Pink” see TiaCorine expressing some rare alt-rock flair over abrasive and guitar-laden instrumentals. Held together with TiaCorine’s infectious energy, the former contains traces of punk’s aural register, while the latter sees trap and shoegaze-esque production meld in perfect Kenny Mason synthesis.
There are so many fantastic moments on I Can’t Wait that the task of naming them all seems almost impossible to do. From the tender vulnerability of album-closer “You’re Fired” to the transcendental beauty of “Birds” TiaCorine proves herself to be not just another talent in hip-hop’s new wave, but a versatile artist capable of crushing every sound she decides to experiment with. Though tracks like the Neptunes-adjacent “Boogie” with Tony Shhnow may harken back to times long gone, TiaCorine instills every track on I Can’t Wait with a creativity that is so original and addictive that it becomes hard not to get excited for whatever she has planned next.
Though longtime TiaCorine fans may view I Can’t Wait as a victory lap from an artist who has undergone an incredible creative journey since the halcyon days of 34Corine — I Can’t Wait feels more like an optimistic look forward at everything TiaCorine is destined to achieve. With more music and visuals likely planned for 2023, TiaCorine is an artist that is deserving of your eyes and ears as we enter the new year
Listen to ‘I Can’t Wait’ by TiaCorine below!