“Midwest Sorrow” is the follow-up to “Never Worried Bout Tomorrow,” which was released Dec. 7, 2021. It was the rapper’s third offering of the year, following collaborative releases with Sidekick Project and Safe Money. To me, ‘Never Worried Bout Tomorrow,’ was the pinnacle of my rapping projects up until that point. It’s the hip-hop album I’d been trying to make my entire career and it would be a fool’s task to try to top it immediately. I wanted to do something completely different so I didn’t have to compete with what I consider my opus.”
Album opener, “Strung Out,” is a statement of intent. It’s a ballad without drums or rapping, just Tino crooning over guitar. The audacious move sets the tone for an introspective album that explores themes of heartbreak, uncertainty and depression.
“I discovered neo-soul and emo music in college but I’ve never had a lot of sad music in my catalog,” he said. “Sometimes hip-hop doesn’t let you be a person as much as a persona. With this project, I wanted to be more of a person than the personification of a rapper. I really tried to go to some different places.”
Despite all this talk of feelings, “Midwest Sorrow” is not a downer. Tino sings more than ever and there are some darker musical elements but the rapper’s distinctive wordplay remains at the forefront. It’s very much a hip-hop album and a solid follow-up to “Never Worried Bout Tomorrow.”
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HOW TO GO
What: Tino and Friends
Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15; doors open at 8 p.m.
Cost: $10 in advance, $12 day of show
More info: yellowcabtavern.com
Artist info: hiphoptino.bandcamp.com