Download Tunji Ige The Love Project

Tunji Ige is a 19-year-old rapper/singer/producer operating out of his dorm room at West Chester University. The Love Project, his new full-length album, finds him worlds ahead of most hip-hop upstarts. Like most young rappers these days, there’s a touch of Drake and 40’s moody futurescapes in his production style, but unlike most of his would-be peers, Ige sounds like a man with his own artistic voice rather than “Drake featuring Drake.” Kid Cudi’s hoarse singsong and progressive electronic arrangements are lingering in the air too — “Day2Day” in particular feels like a direct descendant of “Day ‘N’ Nite” — but Ige sounds like he’s welcoming you into his expansive world rather than shouting at you from his castle. And as long as we’re checking off influences that Ige does justice, “Trust Fund Kids” smartly interpolates Kanye West’s “Street Lights.” Like he sings on “Kingdom,” dude is “far from average.” I urge you to stream The Love Project below, download it here, and check out the album art (which features a Caravaggio painting) at Complex.

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