Leonardo Damian Graves aka Tucold grew up in places from Nebraska to Mississippi and Kentucky, to his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. While spending his childhood in the Omaha metro area Tucold picked up on acting and music, with Tupac Shakur had a big influence on him especially the artist Tupac Shakur. After various partnership efforts Tucold released his single “Lay You Down”, and started nurturing his solo career. The Alabama born kid has just bounced back with a brand new track entitled “Mess Around” Feat. Studda Dre. The artistic partnership imbues the track with a noticeable vigor, lyrical presence, and effectiveness in the realm of a minimalist, brooding bedroom rap. The performances suggest conscience, lucidity, and active critical thought on relationship intricacies.
All of this finds balance within a warm and spacious arrangement and evokes a captivating atmosphere through lustrous keyboard chords and the interplay of understated percussive statements and a resonant bassline. Strategically using his ear for melody and his ability to convey soft vulnerability, Tucold’s appeal to fans is that he makes his inner feelings and implicit knowledge, explicit, through his storytelling.
And the beauty of music is that it can be there for people when nothing else is. Tucold gives us a relaxed and rational diagnosis of a dysfunctional relationship, word by word. Studda Dre backs him up brilliantly, riding the steady beat instead of trying to overpower it.
This track feels like a very raw, honest and open conversation about what happens in a relationship when you mess around. The lyrics come across not only as genuine but extremely heartfelt as well. Tucold revisits one of music’s common themes – the breakup song, and he does this with calculated precision, using genuine sentiment and lyrical sophistication to paint a colorful portrait.
Tucold’s vocals are laid-back but razor sharp, as he glides around the instrumentation, making it his niche. And in terms of other engrossing moments, Studda Dre opts for a more urgent delivery, blending his passionate delivery with lyrics that stick in the mind.
“Mess Around” provides an alluring beat, and both artists elect to wax poetic with a few bars, and the track is made all the better for it. It is definitely a song that demands repeated attention, as a cursory listen will not unveil all its hidden magic. It’s as instantly accessible as his previous work, but more layered.
Hip-hop’s best collaborations are usually wonders of chemistry and complementary strengths, and that’s what happens here between Tucold and Studda Dre. They are an effective team because their music radiates whatever they’re feeling, and their fluidity is compelling, seamlessly bleeding between the verses.
Not only does “Mess Around” Feat. Studda Dre come across as an endlessly entertaining piece, but it sounds inspired, focused and authentic. This project is a beautifully intelligent and charming examination of the twists and turns encountered in tumultuous relationships.
This track, is dense enough for you to get the whole picture of awareness, appreciation, and thankfulness, and the complete betrayal thereof. The blend between the chorus and the verses is flawless. It’s like a warning message to all the troubled couples in this world. It’s a fascinating sonic adventure from start to finish.