Karim Tanoe’s Mixtape First Step is a Minimalistic Tour de Force

Karim Tanoe’s new mixtape, First Step, is a potent reminder of what rap is meant to be. In an age of bedazzled rappers like Machine Gun Kelly, Ty Dolla $ign, and Lil Yachty, the tape is mercifully stripped down, foregoing tired topics such as sex, money, and power in favour of more honorable subjects like loyalty, love, and equality. But that’s not to say that First Step is without bite. Its first track, simply titled “Opening,” features a school teacher’s condescending monologue and quickly introduces the insecurities that Tanoe will confront in the subsequent tracks. Our favourite song might just be “Moral Blind”. Its lyrics (“I’ve been slaving for the money, where the fuck is this raise”) are all too relatable, and driven home by his throaty growl. A close second would be the tape’s titular track, “First Step”. It features some of Tanoe’s most diverse and agile spitting, and is underlined by an echoing baseline that perfectly balances his voice. Though there’s no news as to when Tanoe will be putting on his next show, you can catch his recent performance at Coast 2 Coast Live here and keep up to date on future engagements below on: