On Friday, prolific Chicago hip-hop producer Thelonious Martin released TM, a collaborative album with LA-based rapper, clothing designer, and cereal enthusiast Theophilus Martins. When the duo first teamed up three years ago, for the single “Show Me Around,” Okayplayer suggested that they were using the similarity between their names to mess with the Internet. And when I read the Apple Music “artist” tag for TM, I did a double take.
Fortunately, the gimmicks end there. On his Facebook page, Martin writes that his friendship with the west-coast MC goes back more than five years, and together they’ve made an easygoing album that reflects the chemistry they’ve developed. On “Bad Tendencies” Martins raps in lockstep with Martin’s sampled mosaic of nimble funk and swaggering soul, sounding so imperturbably steady and in the zone that I doubt he’d notice if the beat dropped out.
* It is not, in fact, by coincidence.