Over a decade since he began releasing music, South London’s Youngs Teflon releases a career highlight.
Few UK rappers have transcended generations quite like Youngs Teflon. His chameleon ability to embrace modern tropes has kept his name alive; now there’s always a demand to hear new Youngs Teflon. His last full-length project, Call of Duty 3, was released in 2020, followed by a quiet 2021. No stranger to EPs, the Stockwell native returns with an 8-track offering, its titled grabbed from the two classic Tupac albums.
All Eyes on Me Against the World finds Teflon in his best pocket, unafraid to tackle the traditional hip hop that launched his career.
In fact, All Eyes deserves more than EP status. You would think Teflon wouldn’t be putting his best foot forward on a mere extended-play, but he proves otherwise. Album-level songs exist across the board, refusing to take a pitstop during its 26-minute run. Funnily enough, Tef has never put out a studio album (unless he counts 2019’s Blood, Swvgg & Tears as one). Despite this, All Eyes suggests that he may be getting better with time, maturing his sound and his approach to projects.
The most striking detail of All Eyes on Me Against the World is that it carries some of Tef’s best production to date (Mikey Joe, Aura, M1OnTheBeat, Morgz, GBRF). Opening track “Plato” dons a jazzy saxophone base, a song that fully embodies UK hip hop with no compromises and can bring jazz rap to the scene’s forefront. “Costa Nostra” with Blade Brown is a chilling mafioso track that could go down as one of the best UK collaborations of the year. It’s hard to question Teflon as an elite beat picker after these offerings.
Regarding the EP’s makeup, Teflon has mentioned it’s a project he’s made for himself and embodies what he likes to listen to. It’s no wonder All Eyes comes across as so genuine, wearing the creative freedom like stripes on a soldier’s sleeve.
Naturally, Teflon is sounding like a seasoned veteran without explicit mention. No longer the young, emerging rapstar, it’s refreshing to hear the rapper hone the traits he’s shown for many years. From the verses and production to the features and Teflon’s own hooks, All Eyes on Me Against the World is what UK hip hop needs.
8 / 10
Best tracks: “Plato”, “Costa Nostra”, “Body Language”, “Stay Dangerous”