Review: Taylor Gang – TGOD Vol. 1

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Infamous clang Taylor Gang have been dominating the R&B and Hip hop arena’s for the last few years now. Prominent forces within the collective include Chevy Woods, Juicy J, the hook master Ty Dolla $ign and the undisputed ringleader; Wiz Khalifa. With several other sources of talent signed on the roster, the group decided to share their secrets in the form of a surprise new mix-tape entitled T GOD Volume 1 which dropped last week. Met with instant clicks and promotion does Taylor Gang prove their worth?

Bet ya’ll niggas didn’t know we were working on this.” Wiz Khalifa roars across the first track. As soon as he’s done a down-tempo backing begins as JR Donato takes centre stage. “Oh yeah we shining all winter. Spring, Summer Fall yeah all Winter”, the chorus is almost anthemic as it rallies up support for Taylor Gang, a sense of comradery is instant, and the listeners are instantly silenced in any doubts  that the clique suffers the age-old problem of favoritism. The goal is for all to succeed.

Another track which demonstrates this unity is ‘Gang Gang which takes the eighth spot on the set. However, the song uses unity in terms of family and lovelife. Wiz takes the hook and repeats “Gang” throughout, as Chevy Woods who’s already featured on the set at this point, discusses his struggles and desires for breaking through the void and reaping the rewards for everyone around him. The track displays a lot in terms of roles within Taylor Gang. Wiz takes the spot of veteran of the hooks [along with Ty Dolla $ign] and also the edgy, calm and collected MC, whereas Chevy is a deeper act who primarily knows how to tug at heart strings and deeper thoughts. The dynamics are clearly articulated on ‘Gang Gang but also across the mixtape.

Tuki Carter is another rapper introduced to listeners on T GOD”. ‘Sleep At Night best demonstrates his diversity. In parts of the track he sounds hazed out and in his own element but on his first verse he’s lyrically quite solid. “Say my name in equal riches, who’s your man this n*gga’s trippin, Baller fists rant rant this n*gga’s dippin”, an amped up Tuki spits towards the end of his verse. Taylor Gang exhibit another quality throughout, that of talent. All artists displayed hold their own and feel essential to the fold.

Towards the end of the project, listeners get to meet Taylor Gang’s first lady; Raven Felix, here she stands tall and solo. Surprisingly she holds her own in both a lyrical and vocal sense. ‘Good Man follows a typical schema of talking about relationships throughout. However, Raven has a studio voice and sonically, the production fits her perfectly. She also readily switches it up and lets everyone know that she’s been making her “own paper” and that the love interest in her life is doing her absolutely “no favours”. There’s definitely a market for a Raven Felix in the R&B arena, she could easily slot in in the lane of a Mila J.

Overall, the T GOD set provides production quality of a professional LP, laced in catchy hooks and fragmented Hip-hop, R&B crossover production in most places it very much sticks to what Taylor Gang are most known for. Distinction between each act and what they contribute wasn’t hard as all members have refined and identifiable personalities leading to little confusion. Trap made its appearance on the tape which resembles Ty Dolla $ign’s latest LP and the infusion of the genre found there too. A solid body of work and a surprise which was needed from Taylor Gang.

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