TiaCorine crafted probably one of the catchiest tunes of 2020: the laconic SoundCloud hit ‘Lotto’, all stuttering percussion and deadpan delivery (“Scratch off like lotto / Bitch try ya luck”), became the North Carolina newcomer’s calling card. Now, on her feature-less debut EP, she blazes through with her signature Playboi Carti-style baby voice, which won fans in Rico Nasty and SZA. These eight tracks demand the question: can she prove that the TikTok-adored ‘Lotto’ was more than just a one-hit wonder?
Paying homage to the titular ‘Complicated’ star, TiaCorine implements a few guitar strums to twist her bubblegum rap to bubblegum pop-punk. Instead of rapping faster, she croons over the shimmering instrumental: “I keep my fire on / Won’t trust no one – I won’t”. At the start of this EP you may have been hitting the hardest woes, but by the end you’ll be in a major headbanging sesh. Guess TiaCorine isn’t just a one trick pony, huh?
True: some tracks here do hark back to her viral bubblegum rap sound. For example, the Sonny Digital-produced ‘Mine’ is a dazzling lead single that harnesses all the qualities we love of Tia. There are the lazy melodic chords, crisp hit-hats and of course the Winston-Salem native’s trademark braggadocio. Yet her dreamy, ethereal tones provide the backdrop to some quite aggressive lyrics. But when you have a voice as appealing as Tia’s, you can say anything you want – even “Fuck these n****s, break your heart leave you bleeding / Speed off in the hellcat, speeding demon”.
Proving that’s ‘Lotto’ wasn’t a fluke, TiaCorine here does North Carolina proud in the space of 19 minutes. DaBaby put the state on the rap map as he blazed across the globe last year, and it’s safe to say that TiaCorine is hot on his heels.
Release date: September 7
Record label: South Coast Music Group