‘Real Ting’ is a fair introduction to Stefflon Don’s creativity and versatility.
Emitting royalty from the start, Jamaican-British rapper-singer Stefflon Don opens ‘Real Ting’ by sampling iconic original music from the “Coming to America” soundtrack.
With eleven tracks and titling that paints a picture before listening to the tape, the title track questions the authenticity of other rappers. Letting competitors know she is lyrically incomparable, financially settled, and proud to be a woman in control, Don is actually a contender.
The next song (‘Tight Nooki’) is a dancehall to vaginas that aren’t as open as a ballroom dance floor. It also samples Reggae duo Chaka Demus & Pliers’s 1993 single ‘Murder She Wrote’. According to the song, if you have a tight vagina, you are in the running to get anything you want from a potential partner. ‘Gangsta’ isn’t as exciting as the earlier songs, but it talks about screenshotting mobile conversations (with a gangster), so it is relatable. (Who hasn’t screen captured a conversation with the neighbourhood criminal?)
Accordingly, the tape picks up again with the multilingual track, ‘Narcos’. It’s one of my favourite instrumentals on the project. After hearing this track, you will learn that Don’s lady parts don’t have trouble getting moist. (I guess that’s good to know if you’re ever in the position to get that close to her or engaging on a sexual escapade with the promising recording artist.)
Stefflon Don gets personal on the Dutch and Donae’o-assisted ‘Family Ties’ by sharing that her mother was a victim of domestic violence. She also shared that her mother was looking at a ten-year bid for selling narcotics. Luckily, her lawyer beat the case. At the beginning of the song, she shares that she wasn’t taught to be great. Isn’t ironic how life experiences tend to do that for us? Sometimes regardless of how your life starts, the remainder of your life could be better.
Protective of her mother on the next track, ’16 Shots’ vividly expresses (in patois) what will transpire if anyone tries to diss her or her mother. ‘Envy Us’ is an outstanding dancehall/afrobeat song featuring fellow British musician Abra Cadabra.
On the other hand, I enjoy the unapologetic influence for ‘Real Ting’ and ‘Lik Down’. Essentially, they are remakes of Brooklyn rap artists Young MA’s and Desiigner’s biggest records responsible for their visibility. I’m not going to lie. Stefflon Don sounds a lot like Nicki Minaj on ‘Lik Down’. Minaj’s cadence and the way she chose to ride the beat are similar too.
‘Forever’ featuring Fiona Bevan reminds me that she is from East London. I am excited for what’s to come from this young lady.
In conclusion, my two least favourite records are ‘Gangsta’ and ‘Dem Neva Warn Ya’. In my opinion, it could be the maddening use of autotune. It’s not her fault. However, she should check her engineer. Furthermore, it doesn’t sound like it is properly mixed.