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Say what you will about Tabi Bonney‘s carefree attitude and jet-setter mentality, the Northeast D.C. native has been especially prolific in recent months, releasing several projects to showcase his distinctive city twang and unshakable confidence.
On Bonney’s last project, the Postcards from Abroad mixtape, he teamed with DJ Smiles Davis to produce a lighthearted recording, though he rhymed aggressively over piano loops and horn samples on “Garfield Fish Bones” and “Flamingo Souffle.” Just two months before Postcards, Bonney dropped Fresh, an album with an “all-in” feel that heckled haters and aspired for pop-star status, among other things.
Released today, Bonney’s The Summer Years follows the same path laid by Postcards: it’s a breezy hip-hop record with pop affinities, though a little more expansive than his previous work. Throughout this project, the MC seems more reflective than usual, appreciating his current stature as one of the DMV’s elite, while acknowledging that he still has far to go. “I gotta keep my focus, I can only take my losses in doses, and of course the haters know this,” he rhymes on “Chasing.”
“On Jupiter,” however, is a tropical mashup in which Bonney’s samples his dad—-Afro-funk artist Itadi Bonney—-and “Beautiful Lover” is a guitar-laced groove featuring vocalist Terri Walker. Elsewhere, Bonney is much more subdued on “Hip-Hop and Love,” as he and Murs reminisce about hip-hop’s good ol’ days. All told, The Summer Years is an upbeat listen, even if the summer months have passed.