Tony Shhnow is on a seemingly endless win streak.
At this point, it’s impossible to deny Tony Shhnow’s status as a legend within Atlanta’s new school underground and a key pioneer of its signature plugg sound.
With his place in underground history already secured, he delivered what may be his most mainstream-ready project yet. With Love Streak, Tony is extending his prolific run and adding another notch to his classic Kill Streak series with 16 new love-centric tracks almost entirely produced by Shhnow-staple Grimm Doza.
A vivid picture painter, there’s no doubt that Tony Shhnow has a knack for romanticizing the trap. While he’s normally weaving bars about hustling on the fringes, this time around on Love Streak he shows off a more introspective side as he waxes poetic and drops relentless bars about the difficulties of finding love and finding success in the streets at the same time – backed by soulful samples and the frequent Mortal Kombat sound effects that have served as staples in his GRiMM Doza-produced Kill Streak series (also with production from CashCache, Geeohhs, DJ Young Kash, MTRSPRT and OK).
The earnest tone in Tony’s voice on the opening track and lead single, “If It Wasn’t For Me,” is a notable high point and really sets the tone for the project. Backed by a cleverly chopped sampling of Solange’s “T.O.N.Y” (produced by Geeohhs), his internal tug-of-war feels raw and relatable as he wrestles with difficult circumstances and his own shortcomings, admitting“I don’t even know why I’m like this,” while simultaneously looking to pass the blame. ￼
Similar flashes of vulnerability are seen throughout the project as he walks listeners through a range of flows and sample-laden production on tracks like “ILY / IH8U” or CashCache-produced “Sometimes Pt. 2,” while still finding room to drop ruthless punchlines and hilarious nonsequiturs – one of many examples coming on “Unordinary Drugs” with: “If I could name my son a number it’d be a hunnid.”
Love Streak would be a strong tape just with Tony’s 11 solo tracks, but each of the five features adds a new dimension to create what feels like an intentional and well-rounded album. From the understated lyricism of Mavi to the spacey musings of UnoTheActivist (aka The Act), to the turnt-up autotune of Lil Crank and the equally erratic flows from 3AG Pilot, each adds a new fresh new element that contrasts Tony’s strong signature sound in interesting ways. Not to mention a surprisingly good feature from Shelly (fka DRAM) on “Reminisce” that makes for one of the most memorable and out-of-the-box tracks on the tape.
For an “acquired taste” type of artist like Tony with an idiosyncratic signature sound born out of the underground, this may be his most digestible project yet. Overall, this feels like a cohesive and polished look at one of ATL’s rawest – and despite his rapid rise and dozens of mixtapes, it still feels like he’s only just getting warmed up.
Check out ‘Love Streak’ below!