Tye Cooper marks the latest point in his artistic journey with ‘Black Boys Deserve to Smile’


Providence and Rhode Island as a whole has an incredible hip hop scene with a plethora of talented artists. On a weekly basis, you can see a few of them either performing live at one of the many great venues throughout The Ocean State, putting out a stellar recording of some sort or unveiling a visually appealing music video. One of the folks in this vibrant community is Tye Cooper, who has been making a substantial impact since the start of the decade. He’s been sponsored by the snack food brand Doritos and has done a ton of collaborations while sharing the stage with the likes of Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill, KRS-One, Method Man & Redman and Rakim among many others. Cooper has amassed a prolific discography with his latest installment being the full-length album “Black Boys Deserve to Smile” that came out on April 20 via the Silent Reminder Entertainment Corporation.

There’s a message within the album that relays the ebbs and flows life can bring while recognizing that there’s always a crossroads to approach as each obstacle becomes evident. It also fuels Cooper’s knack for collaboration with numerous singers and rappers being featured in most of the tracks.

"An ode to the overnight success story that took years to look like it happened overnight,” Cooper says about the conscious theme behind the full-length. “Taking the good with the bad, learning to understand that you have options."

I really like how “Black Boys Deserve to Smile” starts off with the spoken word poem “Spare Change." It’s presented as a late night talk show monologue with an uplifting & genuine tone being conveyed. With Brooxana weaving in soulful and melodic vocals for the chorus, “An Outlaw Love Symphony” has a very heartfelt quality with an array of subtle beats setting the mood. “Wine and Cheese” exemplifies Cooper’s excellent flow that’s rapid, direct and straightforward while reaching different octaves. Other songs that can’t be overlooked are “Black F.L.AG” featuring Sule and “Higher Calling” featuring Rick Hyde with the former providing real commentary on mental health and the latter possessing a sound that mirrors what was coming out in hip hop during the mid-’90s.

Overall, what I like the most about Cooper’s latest release is his lyrical abilities and how they coalesce seamlessly with other artists. To give “Black Boys Deserve to Smile” a listen, you can simply look it up on Spotify and give it a stream. For more information on the rest of his music and other things he has going on with his career, log on to his website at tyecooper.com. Before you start doing that, give this album a listen, especially if you’re a fan of hip hop. In my opinion, it’s one of the best records to come out of Providence so far this year.


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