New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Teezo Touchdown’s debut album is an alternative hip-hop masterpiece

After touring with the likes of Tyler, The Creator and collaborating with Don Toliver, the Texas songwriter finally released his first album.

Teezo Touchdown, otherwise known as Aaron Thomas, is one of the hip-hop industry’s most anticipated emerging artists. After listening to his debut album, “How Do You Sleep At Night?,” it’s obvious why.

In an industry where artificial intelligence is prominent and many musicians struggle to find a balance between creativity and authenticity, Teezo makes it look easy. While many hip-hop fans are disappointed with the stagnancy of the genre, his album brings the quirky innovation the rap game has been missing.

Instead of hosting a typical album release party, Teezo abruptly posted about the event on social media, inviting the first 50 fans who arrived at the exclusive affair in lower Manhattan. Teezo came out to greet listeners in his typical attire of shoulder pads, eye black on each cheek and his signature nails-in-hair look.

“How Do You Sleep At Night?” encapsulates listeners in a world of alternative rock with introspective influences of R&B and hip-hop. The album establishes that Teezo is not only a rapper, but also a rock star, an R&B singer and a funk vocalist. He performs unconventional hip-hop beats with a flow reminiscent of the ’90s, reminding listeners of a young Ye — formerly Kanye West — but Teezo is no backpack rapper. In fact, this album proves he’s much more than that.

“How Do You Sleep At Night?” reminds listeners that the origin of hip-hop is rock and alternative. Whether he was influenced by the intoxicating scats of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins or the harmonic screams of James Brown, it’s easy to see that Teezo’s inspirations for the album revive what was once lost in Black culture.

On “Too Easy,” Teezo seamlessly blends percussion instruments with energetic vocals that emulate the artistry of James Brown. On “Stranger,” Teezo admits to his idiosyncrasies as an artist and an individual, acknowledging that he’s not the typical artist of today. On “UUHH,” Teezo flexes his ability to easily change between hard rock and R&B. “You Thought” and “Sweet” perfectly complement their features of Janelle Monáe and Fousheé respectively.

Teezo gets emotional and empowers his audience with his lyrics. He can be random at times, but somehow it makes sense, taking listeners on a journey. The album is skillfully curated with top-notch producers, including BNYX, SADPONY and Justin Raisen.

He’s even garnered support from international rap-pop star Drake, who claimed the album was “some of the best music ever,” in an Instagram post.

Grammy-nominated engineer Benjamin Thomas was also in attendance and loved every bit of Teezo’s listening party.
“I think that it’s important that a new generation of music lovers listen to Teezo because they might not have heard the music that has inspired him,” said Thomas. “It can open them up to new sounds, and that’s always good for everybody’s growth in music.”

Whether he raps about nomadity or curates a double entendre on the experience of ceiling fans, listeners have no choice but to remember Teezo for his uniqueness. Tezzo Touchdown is a phenomenon that pop culture hasn’t seen in decades, and from the looks of his debut album, it looks like he’ll be here for decades to come.

“I’ve always known Teezo would be a star when I saw the video for ‘Bad Enough,’” said Boogie, Teezo’s tour manager. “Then you meet him in real life and witness the dedication, and that the commitment is real.”

Contact Abigail Chang at [email protected].

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  • J

    JilSep 25, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    This article is “IT”.

    I was unaware of Teezo Touchdown until his debut album and I truly feel blessed to have been lead to it via a friend’s Instagram stories, where they spoke very highly of the artist.

    And ever since it has faithfully been on repeat. This album gives me all the feels and and upon my first listen I repetitively screamed “yeesss”, “waaaaiiitt”, “No run that back”!!!!

    Reading this article just beautifully encapsulates ALL those good feels. Thank you, thank you, thank you ✨