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T&K: Precious metal from South America

T&K is an Argentinian rapper composed of various alloys. From Tikranz his freestyler blaze, UZL when he is behind the machines as a beat maker or Ill mati as he likes to be called. He is an artist with multiple properties, his rap is coming back to storm the southern streets.

In 2014, the rapper released his first album, Writing Classics. It’s an item steeped in the 90s sound of Big L and Lewis Parker. It’s impossible not to crack your neck on those bass lines. Likewise, it goes without saying that the artist’s rhyme placements are impeccable. A dark aesthetic like the old fashioned clips, the ones with the black pixelated image, but with perfectly mastered sound content. To note, the third sound of the album, C.R.E.M.A, is a big demonstration of strength and moreover it uses the sample of Show Discipline of Nas, just delightful.

Anyway, from the Intro lays the foundation “My opinion is that correct rap doesn’t die”. Be truthful, respect this music, and this shit will give you something in return. For him, there are some codes to follow, and this album is the way to give us the notice, especially with the tracks You don’t know and Rules Game. These are the words of a faithful disciple of the East Coast underground. Besides, at a time when the US hip-hop scene is all about synths and auto-tune, Ill mati is still rubbing shoulders with boom-bap, with rhymes dripping from his eye tooth.

“Writing classics is the introduction guide”

In 2017, in the same path, the Buenos Aires child delivers a well-crafted product, 1993 : The Lost Tape. We find the essence of the American golden age with soul jazz and funk samples. The record reflects the roots of its creator. Born in the suburbs of the Argentine capital, a child of the city, raised on rap. As he says in the track Round Around, he preaches on the beat “Above all, my religion is Method Man in Tical”. To support the supremacy of Argentine rap, T&K invites other artists such as Jay Calabria and Juli Giuliani with whom he captures the instrumental on Raps. There are also fine figures from the national scene such as Urbanse, who have already appeared on Writing Classics.

After setting his stamp on the Argentine rap game, the rapper released in 2018, El Libro Negro, a more introspective EP. His rhyming skills are as professional as ever. The songs follow the same line as his previous productions, with the boom bap as a common thread. The instrumentals are meticulous. Mind you, they are handled by experts such as Manu Beats, who had previously worked with T&K on 1993: The Lost Tape. The record is qualitative and more intimate, it’s still about his rap vision but also about his life and his family. It’s maybe because the rapper had announced that this would be his last musical production, at least as T&K.

Finally, in 2021, he came back under the name of Ill mati to give his audience something to get their teeth into. A 5-track entitled Frio Espero, which gives its name to the first track. A tune in which we still enjoy the boom bap, but not only that! The rapper surprises and renews himself by releasing more trap tracks, such as Vg. The project is more mystical in composition and lyrics. This may be due to the secret formulas of Mir Nicolas, with whom he has collaborated and who is a
cornerstone of the local rap scene. Furthermore, on the CD sleeve there is a symbol of the Fabian Society, a British socialist movement from the 1980s. In addition, the wording “entre axiomas y auxinas” appears on the album jacket.

On the cover of his previous record, El Libre Negro, there are signs referring to the Freemasons. Plus, in the Outro of Writing Classics, T&K says “I am a brother of the faithful, G-A-D-U”, which refers to the philosophy of the Great Architect of the Universe. In short, the rapper often uses these kinds of signs from theology and spirituality. In Frio Espero he mentions mantras and thus the Buddhist religion. One can imagine that it means a lot to him.

Rap thrives in the South

T&K’s music, aka Ill mati, is a national treasure for Argentina and more largely for the whole Hispanic hip hop scene. True to himself, authentic like his leather and his Jordans, he gives his listeners the purest rap. Pure in its form, its references. His art doesn’t stagnate in the same pattern. Still rooted in the 90s tones, he keeps renewing himself and testing new things. Like other rappers in the country, his style grows singularly, and autochthonous.

He is definitely destined to rise in all of NML and beyond. T&K is a noble material, which does not rust, real, his rap is inflexible.

written by Antonia Barot aka Nomulian 4178