Crashing the scene by way of Brampton, Ontario, is rapper, producer, and hip-hop recording artist Tjmendoza with his sweet-sounding sophomore album, 'Sentiment."
The Toronto-born songwriter had always shown interest in music creation thanks to his many legendary influences, but it wasn't until the age of 14 that he started dabbling in production. Growing up with a knack for writing, Tjmendoza's music now offers a unique blend of cloud rap and trap, coming packed with smooth flows, conceptual lyrics, and laidback, bass-heavy instrumentals. Recently releasing his 15-track sophomore album, 'Sentiment,' let's dive right in.
The experience kicks off with the introductory track, "AlrightHere," which shifts the album into gear with a bright electric guitar sample alongside wavy and celestial hip-hop production that elevates the mind, body, and soul. And then there's Tjmendoza's hazy and composed vocal appearance that slowly and softly raps about his undying love for someone special. This is a great way to start such a dynamic album, especially since we get to understand a deeper and more personal layer to the artist, helping us comprehend the meaning behind such a 'Sentiment.'
While the love he had in the last track is still alive, we shift into a more introspective piece with "Better Days." The song opens with an ethereal and relaxed sonic background while mid-tempo and snappy drum breaks begin tapping through our speakers. Listening to Tjmendoza's rhythmic and charismatic bars, he takes on more of an emotional theme where those better days are getting harder to find. We love the rhythm and transcendent groove of this track; it offers yet another deep layer to not only Tjmendoza's artistry but his sonic vision.
Spicing it up with track number three, "Chop Shop," there's a certain spacey and celestial vibe that comes with the melodic and electronic-heavy production, especially as Tjmendoza makes good use of sharp autotune on his futuristic vocal appearance. So far, what we've gotten from the album is Tjmendoza is willing to take us on various stimulating yet cathartic journeys. But, each time around, he slaps us with an undeniable and soul-soothing groove, which is precisely illustrated in this spacious and melodic tune. We can't help but hear some sonic influences from Lil Uzi Vert.
The party starts when hitting play on the fourth track, "Proximity," which pierces open with a shimmering and distorted synth melody that squeals and screeches above the heavy drum arrangements. As Tjmendoza grooves his way in, he offers more of a confident and optimistic approach that totally adds a new and exciting layer to the record. What we love most is how easy it is for Tjmendoza to remain so calm, cool, and collected throughout his entire performance, and it helps that his bars in this track celebrate our favorite legalized plant.
Keeping the energy alive with the next track, "MOTM," the journey kicks off with wavy, watery, and vibrant synths that roam the background like an ever-flowing river. Once the sharp hi-hats begin tapping in, Tjmendoza slowly but surely drifts into his first verse that offers a rather unconventional rhythmic approach, reminiscent of trailblazers like Kendrick Lamar. We love the sonic and vocal influences Tjmendoza has offered within this album this far, and this track perfectly adds to the dynamic puzzle that is 'Sentiment' through each spacey synth and thick drum break.
Hold up and "Backup," as Tjmendoza is just getting started. The fifth track blasts through the door with a heavy synth alongside fluttery and shimmering background synths while those same dense drums smoke our speakers. Tjmendoza channels that positive and braggadocious energy once again to liven the party while the sonics continue to expand with such a captivating and colorful energy. The rapper drifts back into his passionate bars from tracks earlier, and we truly appreciate how he continues to merge his personal experiences into a record for our ears.
The album honestly gets better with each track, and our favorite so far has to be the sixth, "UP!" Right off the bat, Tjmendoza takes us back in time with a 00s-like sonic arrangement but with the same punchy modern drums. While Tjmendoza dances and gleams as he's up high in the sky, he continues to set the scene with his dreamy verses that are amplified tenfold by the soothing and luminous synths. We admire Tjmendoza's unique production style, perfectly helping us understand his distinctive blend of cloud rap and modern trap, especially in this infectious halfway track.
Landing on the album's heavy mid-way point with "GAR," be sure to buckle your seats because we're in for a bumpy ride. This track instantly punches us over with a heavy and growling synth while sleek and intimidating drums sink in the background. Tjmendoza's flow in this track offers a darker and more ominous flair to the album while he raps about being ready for just about any challenge life faces him with. The dedicated rapper truly shows us what he's made of in this track, but what's just as electrifying are the gripping sonics that take the ride to new peaks.
Beginning our venture into the album's second half with the ninth track, "Reactions like KC," this song opens with a buzzy and vibrant synth alongside modern and tightly-wound drums. The upbeat and lively song offers yet another futuristic and modern appeal through Tjmendoza's perfect use of watery and drippy autotune while giving us his authentic and dominant bars. His energy and charismatic performance in this song is somewhat reminiscent of the laidback stylings of Kodak Black but offers a completely different sonic foreground for Tjmendoza to explore.
Sending us onto cloud 9 is track number ten, "Eagle," where Tjmendoza flies high like the alpha bird while riding the groovy beat with the utmost rhythm and poise. Tjmendoza is dripping in confidence in this track, and amplifying his exciting performance are the wavy and warm synths that bring the space a dose of passion. We definitely get to know the rapper's production skills a lot more in this tune. Towards the end, Tjmendoza takes the vibe into a more atmospheric place where he shifts the entire track down an octave, bringing this psychedelic and spacious aura that's truly hard to resist.
Taking those production skills even further is track number eleven, "Apologies," which begins with an array of complex and intricate drum arrangements, truly showcasing the rhythm that runs through the talented producer. The choice of synths in this track offers another fluid and warm layer, while Tjmendoza's vocal performance offers this lively and carefree approach to keep the vibe at a high. It's quite interesting how the rapper began the album with a modern hip-hop ballad but takes us through such independent, confident, and powerful experiences on tracks like this.
Stand by for "Elevation" into the clouds with the album's spacey twelfth track. Hitting play, we're greeted with another melodic and tender synth melody that settles in our hearts with the warmest tones and effects. This introspective and downtempo tune takes us into Tjmendoza's personal life even further as he begins rapping about how he wishes he'd never met someone and calling for an eraser on some of life's moments. The bright and fluid synths continue to keep the serenity and ambiance rolling while Tjmendoza's nestles into his relatable bars that anyone can appreciate.
What are the odds we get a tad deeper and introduce ourselves to Tjmendoza's "Life" in the thirteenth track? While it might seem like a deeply personal and vulnerable piece, Tjmendoza channels more of that carefree energy once again to remind us that he's just out here living life trying to move past the hate, fakes, and anyone who doesn't serve him. The relaxed and chill production allows the rapper to stay poised in the spotlight when delivering his honest bars, and we love the overall refreshing and rejuvenating feel he had to offer in this sweetly dynamic and straightforward track.
Make sure you "Save A Dance" for that someone special because the night ain't over. This high-energy and upbeat track kickstarts with a powerful set of synths that gleam into the cosmos alongside the snappy drums and watery background effects. Tjmendoza takes us into many lively scenes with his detailed bars and vocal performance, giving us all the energy we need for a memorable night out. Towards the song's end, Tjmendoza offers the same octave drop and shifts the experience into a deep, psychedelic, and mysterious space.
Reaching the album's final track with "Working on Me," Tjmendoza begins this adventure with distorted and heavy synths that wreak havoc on our speakers with their heaviness and crisp hits. This short outro track is straight to the point; Tjmendoza gives us a similar sonic experience with his futuristic and modern production but sums the entire album by reminding us he's busy working on himself and finding new ways to take his career to unseen heights. We honestly appreciate such an authentic and unconventional listening experience offered on this powerhouse outro track.
Take a wild ride in the cosmos with Tjmendoza's spacious and thrilling new 15-track album, 'Sentiment,' and find the project on all streaming platforms.
We're thrilled to feature such an exciting and thorough album like 'Sentiment.' When did you begin executing ideas for this project? How long did it take to create?
I began working on this album Sentiment a little bit after New Year this year. I had thoughts of putting something together sonically that represented my growth over the past year and the experiences that lead and help contribute to where I am now today. Whether that was the hardships, the love, friendships, goal achievement, and honestly just life in general.
Did you have any moments or experiences that inspired you to create the album, 'Sentiment?' Were there any concepts or themes you wanted to portray?
I made this album because I was so inspired by my own growth and the changes that I’ve made in my own personal life. 2021 was a big year for me for so many reasons and I felt like I evolved in multiple areas. The themes that I wanted to portray throughout this album were the sadness and emotions I was feeling throughout the year that just passed. But not only the feelings themselves; but the reasons for it, how to deal with it, how I perceived it at the time. I also just wanted this project to be a representation of just being you and living for you. I wanted this to evoke self-love and just put a little bit more positivity out there even if it’s stemmed from my negative aspects which I find so cool about this project. It’s so dope because I find there’s such a unique underlying contrast throughout so many moments on this album.
Did you create the production for 'Sentiment' entirely solo? What did your creative process look like in the producer chair?
On this project, I didn’t have the chance to work on any of the instrumentals but on the bright side I produce myself so I was able to tweak my vocals and the overall mix of the songs on this album. That in itself is such an art. Creating this album I really fell in love with producing all over again and taught myself so many cool tips and tricks that will help me going forward. Overall my creative process for this album was honestly just me, life, and my laptop. Some verses on this project were written before I found the initial instrumental. With those songs, I would just play a beat I liked. I would recite my lyrics to see if it would flow and just record myself on FL Studio. Other songs my process would be just trying to find the vibe by having the beat on loop and writing lyrics that were based on what I was currently doing, stories I’ve heard or they were based on my past experiences.
Did you have any artistic influences in mind when navigating the sound and feel for the entire 'Sentiment' album?
Truthfully this album was inspired by the artists I listen to. Definitely, Kid Cudi, he was a big inspiration on the song ‘MOTM’ but overall my other inspirations would have to be Curren$y, Cardo & Pierre Bourne. My other inspiration for this album came from sports and the automotive culture
Which song from 'Sentiment' do you feel is the most personal and important to you?
The most personal song would definitely be the intro AlrightHere that song is just filled with so much emotion it moves me every time I hear it. The most important song to me would be Elevation though because I find it so reflective and I needed that. Not only for my personal life but for me creatively as well.