Langdon Park’s Tabi Bonney has an ear for beats. Starting with the “The Pocket,” his four-year-old track and biggest single to date, the man simply puts out songs that will make you move. So why isn’t anyone dancing?
His new-ish single, “Get Me,” picks up where “The Pocket” left off: A pounding radio-ready beat, a simple, slangtastic catchy hook and more of his delightfully odd lyrics. Considering the dude has been buzzing occasionally nationally and certainly around-the-clock regionally, how the hell does this song have less than 20,000 plays in a world where the less talented (seriously, let’s be real people) Wiz Khalifa can add 100,000 views a day?
I’ll tell you how. This song is a year old; the album, “Fresh,” is three months old. I am pretty up on the DMV scene: If it took a late-night MTV Jams play to make me aware of “Get Me,” how the heck would your average hip-hop head know? THANKS LOCAL RADIO. Even when they were playing Wale’s “Pretty Girls,” a genuine hit, it was like pulling teeth for them. God forbid an actual good single by one of the DMV’s brightest and most charismatic stars gets any play.
It’s a damn shame. From “The Pocket” to “Rich Kids” — a laid back reggae joint from Tabi’s EP “Dope” which was perhaps too laid back to make waves — to “Get Me” and it’s sister song “Make a Killing,” Tabi is a genuine hip-hop star in the making. Or he should be. It’s frustrating to hear someone evolve over time, increase the quality of his music and generate positive reviews and still be less well-known than he was four years ago.
Part of it lies in Tabi himself. He is unapologetically weird. He joined an odd pop group. He speaks with local slang, is hard only when he needs to be, and has no problem sloshing a bunch of genres around to create a disc (“Fresh” is all over the place — techno, hip-hop, pop and rock). We should enjoy it while it lasts, because Tabi is on artistic roll, even if he doesn’t have the sales to back it up.