Shot Heard Across the Genre
Posted October 29, 2019
By JoshuaGalla_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know:
Travis “Thi’sl” Tyler was born in Mississippi, however, grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. To this day, St. Louis and its surrounding communities have been a focal point for him. Thi’sl directs his music about the cityscape and surrounding environment to educate younger generations that hope exists.
Over the last 15 years, Thi’sl has devoted his music to reflect His own faith and help revive the streets. Beginning with work aside from Reach Records independently on two projects, then several projects as a signed artist from 2009 through present day. Chronicles of an X-Hustler, Fallen King, and Beautiful Monster are standout creations from the mind and heart of Thi’sl.
On Small Thing To A Giant (STTAG), Thi’sl once again takes a negative situation and flips the focus towards the Kingdom. He was shot (in the leg) during a robbery last September while giving back to his community through Mission: St. Louis.
What it Sounds Like:
First thoughts are Thi’sl is taking every advantage of renewed life through a second chance lens. From start to finish, STTAG contains some of his most impactful content and delivery to date. Thi’sl speaks on the events which surrounded his shooting from a year ago, how God has moved through the experience, and how he’s arrived on the other side of it a different person. A person energized, focused, and fueled by his faith.
The features on the project from Courtney Orlando, V.Rose, and Jarrel Lomax serve more as harmonizing accents to the overall sound. Thi’sl had a story to reveal throughout the eight tracks, a personal journey. Listeners can hear transparency without hesitation.
“War Torn” featuring Fiend is the most aggressive track on the project harnessing Thi’sl's renewed energy. It serves as a war cry to impact your city regardless of your circumstance or environment.
“This Is Not The End” featuring V. Rose reveals insight into Thi’sl’s direct thoughts about the incident mimicking a cry out to God for understanding.
“Activated” featuring Courtney Orlando finishes up the project with encouragement exemplified. He proclaims, “I woke up a different beast from this surgery.” The inspiration received throughout the course of the previous year is felt on blast.
Sonically, it's not solely you're typical trap record. “Activated” has an incredible pop to it close to boom-bap sound us old school listeners miss. “Sugar” has a spoken word, soulful vibe to it backed by standard trap sound. “This Is Not The End” has a bluesy, rhythm and blues soundscape assisted by the melodic voice of V.Rose. Overall, the project presents itself as an experimental trap record with refreshing additions and sounds sure to pleasantly perk your ears.
A sense of gratitude towards God and Thi’sl’s personal faith is sensed throughout the project. There is no shortage of godly references and nods to His faithfulness during extreme trials faced by the artist.
Appreciation in one sense or another is felt on nearly every track. Throughout a difficult experience, Thi’sl was able to rise above due to God’s faithfulness and love. During “Sugar” Thi’sl raps, “That’s my hardest trial today / but it’s built-in my faith / because my trust in the Lord, He gonna make a way.”
That’s one beautiful aspect of Thi’sl’s music. He lays out lyrically the wrongs of the world and the trials he faces daily, however, Thi’sl doesn’t allow discouragement to settle in knowing God’s got a plan.
Best Song on the Record:
The quality of STTAG overall adds difficulty in selecting a track that stands above the others. However, “Let’s Get To It” snags recognition as a favorite. The overall bounce of the track alone makes it special. The expressed energy captivates my attention. It demands movement from your body. Thi’sl proclaims that regardless of what difficult situation may arise, he will never change knowing God’s got this essentially.
For Fans Of:
Reconcile | Rockstar JT | Derek Minor | Pettidee
When you’re a giant in your faith, few things become bothersome. Thi’sl took a difficult situation and reflected how God moved throughout. Each track covers a unique perspective on the shooting and its effect over the course of the last year. Even wrapped into a condense EP package, the effects of its contents were gigantic. The strategic use of features throughout added proverbial icing on an already brilliant effort. STTAG will definitely entertain some project of the year lists at year’s end and rightfully so. Thi’sl’s ear to the street while carrying his cross faithfully is a beautiful thing to hear through his music and watch through his street ministry.
Stream on Spotify or purchase on iTunes.
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