On some of your favourite tracks, you may have heard a computerised producer tag referencing Internet Money, rap’s most in-demand musical collective turned record label. The Platinum-selling collective of artists and producers, led by Taz Taylor and Nick Mira, have been showcasing their talents all over the internet with huge global rap friends – even Drake got involved for 2018’s ‘Blue Tint’ – and now, after making hits for everyone else, they are finally doing so under their own name.
As soon as you press play on ‘B4 The Storm’, you hear one of Internet Money’s coolest signees, Ty Fontaine, rap a capella on ‘Message’. Instead of the expected beat drop, we’re bombarded with the sudden sounds of impaling electronic fanfare over racing synths. It may be shock to fans who’ve only heard Internet Money’s commercial trap tracks, but the whirling composition shows from the get-go that there’s more to these ‘type-beat’ (controversial copycat sounds imitating proven hits) producers than detractors claimed.
Second track ‘Really Redd’ is a similarly accomplished head-bopper, featuring rap juggernauts Trippie Redd, Young Nudy and Lil Keed. Yet on ‘Lose Me’, Lil Mosey and iann dior seem to lean on Internet Money’s great producing talents to paper over their verses: “Pistol totin’ (Yeah, yeah) / My bro shot him in the face, he feeling like he Kobe,” Mosey manages. And ‘Thrusting’, with Swae Lee and Future, seemed like a knockout tune on paper, but in actuality hits more mediocre notes.
Luckily the lower half of ‘B4 The Storm’ is more cohesive than the top, a run that begins with a great display of braggadocio from the late Juice WRLD (aka Jarad Higgins) and Redd. The duo’s chemistry has been undeniable – take their viral TikTok viral hit‘6 Kiss’ – and ‘Blastoff’ perfectly showcases their interconnected talents.
Juice WLRD is an integral part of Internet Money’s success: Mira produced Higgins’ 2018 calling card mega-hit ‘Lucid Dreams’; ‘Blastoff’ is a testament to the greatness they have achieved together. Speaking with NME recently, Taylor said that to have this song on the album really “meant something” to him, as it was the last song he worked on before Higgins’ passing. This is evident in his delicate, Spanish guitar approach to Higgins heartbroken lyrics: “I should’ve turned away when I found out you were demonic / Let’s be honest, you’re the devil’s daughter”.
‘Take It Slow’ is similarly euphoric, a tropical love song fronted by Ty Fontaine and newest teen sensation 24kGoldn. Still bringing us love as the world attempts to get back to normal, the singers offer a moment of calm amid a boisterous album full of cocksure guys mostly rapping, to be honest, about nonsense.
With Internet Money Cashing cashing in all their favours, ‘B4 The Storm’ finds them harnessing teenage rebelliousness, but rarely through the lens of truly memorable rhymes. This, though, isn’t the fault of Taylor and Mira, who have given us futuristic as well as modern sounds, invoking us to dance. It’s a strong debut album as they dip their toes into becoming producer artists.
Release date: August 26
Record label: Internet Money Records / TenThousand Projects