I do quite often get asked how I feel about this one particular artist and I can never really give a straight answer. I guess it’s because I haven’t been completely honest with my thoughts, but after some careful deliberation with myself, I now know how I truly feel in regards to this artist. The artist I’m referring to right now is Tinie Tempah. Before you think any further and begin to assume that I only have the intentions of slating him, I suggest you pause for a minute and think again; because my qualms are not necessarily with Tinie as an artist but I guess they are with the industry he and many people out there are involved in. For instance I’m sure many will agree with me when I say I can name a few, if not a handful of UK artists who undoubtedly obtain a talent far greater than the one Tinie Tempah has, but yet have not reached that pinnacle of success in their careers such as; ‘Breaking America’. Once again no – one is trying to dampen Tinie’s success, if anything all you can really do is honour it, respect it and use it as a motivational stepping stone into striving to become what your wildest dreams allow you to be. As nobody has ever come from a ‘grime scene’ background to then venture on to America and sell an album let alone have a single that is actually liked by the ‘centre of the world’. Everybody knows that once America has given you their approval eventually acceptance from the world is surely next on the agenda.
Moving into the ‘politics’ of the music slightly and beginning to discuss the reasons as to why I feel Tinie Tempah was the perfect, actually the only candidate that could of been able to endeavour in his current success is because he possesses an attribute that not a lot of artists can pull off and that’s being ‘marketable’. In all my years of watching televised talent contests (X-Factor to be more precise) I now understand why talent alone isn’t enough for an artist to ‘make it’ nowadays. You have to obtain the whole package because believe it or not there a thousands of other artists just like you with an immense talent; so what makes you think that the way you can formulate metaphors to naturally flow over a beat is any different from the way ‘Peter down the street’ does it? Anyway back to Tinie, although I do not think he is the greatest UK rapper, he is seen as being very quirky as well as charmingly handsome which will always appeal to an audience. Other artists like Chipmunk and Skepta who (subject to opinion) are also handsome and comedic I feel would not of been able to break America at the time Tinie Tempah did because of their confidence which we all know in today’s music industry can come across quite arrogant.
However it is my only hope and dream that one day the humbling Wretch 32 manages to also cross that boarder and obtain great success even one that can challengingly surpass that of Tinies. (Biased view as I am a huge fan of Wretch’s lol)