Tyree Colion: The Problem and the Solution
Since being released from prison after serving an 11-year sentence for second-degree murder, Tyree Colion has turned his life around and quickly established himself as one of Baltimore’s most promising and hard-working rappers. It feels like every time local MCs gather on a stage these days, he’s there to upstage them with an energetic performance. And more than his street credibility and harrowing backstory, it’s his tireless work ethic that drives the new mix tape The Problem and the Solution, which sprawls across two discs and nearly 50 tracks of surprisingly consistent quality.
Rapping in a plain-spoken bark reminiscent of Fat Joe, Colion plays the role of a grizzled G who has seen it all, talking smack and telling cautionary tales in equal measure. But on “If the World Spun the Other Way Around” and “The Clone,” he experiments with lyrical themes that border on science fiction. Colion assembles impressive lineups for tracks such as “Out of Town,” featuring Comp, Skarr Akbar, and Redz, as well as collaborations with Tim Trees and Little Clayway. And he keeps it accessible with the Rod Lee-assisted “Big Pimpin’” and the single “Bass Drop,” which chops up the horns and tom-tom triplets from Cee-Lo’s “I’ll Be Around,” Baltimore club-style. If Colion can maintain his current level of energy and versatility, no other Baltimore rapper will be able keep up with him before long.