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Yusuf Yellow addresses toxic masculinity and self-development in his new project The Yellow Tape



With his new project The Yellow Tape, Yusuf Yellow gathers stories that reflect on the highs and lows of life. The result is an odyssey of introspective hip-hop, exploring experiences of toxic masculinity, societal pressures, self-worth and self-development. Against a backdrop of twenty-something hedonism, Yellow weaves between light-hearted rhymes and deeper, cathartic confessions. Offering both tranquil beats and ruminative lyrics, The Yellow Tape lends itself to soundtrack both reflective wintry nights-in and blissed-out afters this summer.


Yellow’s hypnotically deep, languid vocals flow seamlessly over beats produced by Jackie Moonbather. The Sheffield-based rapper’s witty wordplay is deeply personal yet consolingly relatable, telling biographical tales of being a “coffee shop part-timer” navigating relationships, personal development, a social life and a career.


Opening with ‘Growth Of The Flower’, Yellow addresses the effects of cutting comments thrown at him growing up: “Gone with the fairies is what they used to say to him / Every time it happened little cuts would wound him razor-thin”. It’s a strong opener, introducing Yellow’s intelligent lyricism delivered by his signature somnolent drawl. It’s a track that demands to be put on repeat, the jazz piano sample meandering under Yellow’s sharp storytelling.

‘Sippin’ Tea’ continues this exploration of self-worth, taking a more philosophical approach. Produced by Oscar Blakey (AKA, Lost Oz), the single is a hard-hitting yet affectionate track in which Yellow expresses personal insecurities amongst candid jokes about progressing as an artist: “Three shows in two weeks, that was progress / Bare people didn’t show but that was no stress”.


Yusuf Yellow wears his heart on his rolled-up sleeves with this vulnerable project, but it is far from a cry for help. Produced by Jackie Moonbather (Blancmange Lounge), the diaristic project is a refreshingly honest and beautifully delivered account from a young man navigating the complexities of modern life. It’s thoughtful, it’s empowering and, most of all, it slaps.

Meg Firth


Nice People Magazine © 2020