Album Review: Col3trane – Tsarina

It was hard to make an assumption based on what I was about to listen to – an Egyptian/American-born teen with a mixtape bearing the name of a female Russian-ruler. As soon as the mixtape starts we get a dose of French, and I’m conscious of the fact that this eagerness to touch upon multiple cultures could be its success or downfall; I seldom received anything of the sort after that initial piece, though.

The lyrics typically examine archetypal hip-hop topics: fast cars, women, getting drunk, but there are few moments where his inspiration is far more intriguing. Consider the single, ‘Penelope’, an ode to the Spartan princess, or, more wittily, ‘Mario Cart’, which contains the same base standard of hip-hop in terms of lyrics, only from the perspective of Mario to Princess Peach. The production on this mixtape is satisfactory. The few faults that I could see – the omnipresent tin-like drum-beats, for example – can be explained from a lack of resources from a teenager just starting out in the business. As Col3trane (a name, by the way, that reminds me of a disappointing username) makes his way towards the UK for his first tour, I expect he’ll gain the attention he deserves to be involved in bigger and better collaborations.
[Conor O’Hare]

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