GTB Nova Drops “2 Tone”

True professionals don’t need the frills that amateurs rely on when trying to make a statement their peers are going to not only take seriously but perhaps even take influence from. GTB Nova might be a newcomer to the game, but in his debut single “2 Tone,” he extinguishes the very idea that he would be one of these lackluster rookies dependent on the fluff and filler elites of his caliber just don’t need to mess with, in or outside of the studio. “2 Tone” is fat-free hip-hop with a dagger of a beat, and surprisingly enough it’s coming from a greenhorn groove maker certain to make a big impression on you this summer. 


The bass is straight out of the old school in this single, but it’s not so indebted to the retro stylizations of its forerunners as to translate as an independent facet within the master mix. On the contrary, it’s sewn into the fabric of the beat seamlessly, making it as essential to the flow of the lyrics as the actual percussive componentry here is. It can be said that GTB Nova doesn’t slack in front of or behind the mixer in this piece, and that’s undeniable after even a cursory sit down with “2 Tone.” 

This vocal is so organic that it actually struggles to compete with the instrumental groove in a couple of key junctures ahead of the conclusion of the song, but it would seem almost intentionally so from what I can tell. Driving up the tension on the backend isn’t exactly a new concept in recording a rap single, but the way GTB Nova goes about it is unorthodox, to say the least. He isn’t letting the bass control the energy in this release so much as he’s straddling it to produce as wicked a venue for his verses as possible, which is more refined a technique than I usually come across in up and comers. 

Rhythm isn’t tasked with shaping the emotionality of “2 Tone,” but instead just supporting the sharp attack my man is putting forth at the mic. In all reality, his cold demeanor is the blood and guts of the narrative in this single, with swagger influencing the beats more than GTB Nova’s literal word is. To be ominous through the utilization of tempo exclusively is so 2000’s that one is tempted to hit the skip button before lyrics ever enter the picture, but to do what this guy is doing here takes something just a bit more sophisticated – both in preparation and practice. 


If you’re into premium hip-hop, you can’t afford to take a debut like this one for granted nowadays, and I won’t be the first rap critic to tell you that in 2021. What GTB Nova lays down inside of barely two minutes’ worth of play in this single is just too exceptional to be ignored by the fans of the media this June, and from the perspective of where hip-hop and trap are going on the commercial level right now, he picked the right time to introduce such a stealthy, hybrid-style sound all his own. 

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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