“am i dreaming/ or am i scheming with these demons/ what’s the reason?”
Who: Tendai Joseph Chafa-Govha
What: Alternative Hip-hop, Trap Rap, Alternative R&B
Where: Pembroke Pines, FL
Why: Salvador Dali, in the few moments before he fell asleep, would place a key in his hand and a metal plate below him. When he eventually succumbed to his bodily desires and momentarily entered that space of unconsciousness the key would slip from his hand, strike the plate and jolt him awake. His personal reasoning for the behavior was nebulous at best, but it essentially played at brain functions which activate in the lead up to sleep. A time of associative thinking and memory writing as old experiences are chewed up and re-associated together in an almost completely un-understood process. A higher function of the mind that a MRI could never transcribe.
TENDAYS is an unlikely comparison to Salvador Dali, but also one that plays well to Salvador Dali’s values of the surreal. Though maybe the rudimentary, esoteric, and dissociated images of his videos suggest more of Jean-Michel Basquiat comparison. Finding those intersections of street art and conceptual artistic aspirations TENDAYS wields a cloudy trap instrumental to even cloudier ends. Images of demons and a nauseating fog, the moments before sleeping or before waking. The moment where you aren’t sure which it is. A rising action or a falling one? An uncertainty and an unfulfilled narrative. “REMJOG0004” (R.E.M. jog 004 possibly?) ends much as it begins, in a haze and unsure, wielding the emerging short trap-song structure into a powerful anti-narrative that draws attention to its simplicity.
The song, which is kind of incredible, along with fellow singles “AINT” and “Forbidden” represent a huge artistic leap for someone who was releasing public statements of his artistic insecurity and difficulties just a year ago. And the songs felt it. Tendai was making music that confronted his youth and lack of experience head on, and while the music itself wasn’t great, it paved the way for a meaningful artistic evaluation which could bring him here. The naval gazing ambition has begun to blossom into conviction, and a desire to contribute, not just evacuate feelings.
bleak. bleak. bleak. december 10th.
Ok, I’ll be watching TENDAYS.