By Alyson Jurgovan
“Suicidal Thoughts” is the sophomore project from Roosevelt University alum artist Tooty. Von Vuai produces the seven track EP which features guest appearances from Trapo and XVRHLDY.
The title of the EP indicates that the subject matter goes deeper than the clichés many hip-hop artists have present in recent times. “Suicidal Thoughts” is not an album that serves explicit one-liners about women or glamour. This EP reflects the struggles of a young man molded by the roughness of Chicago, whose driving force is his tenacious ambition.
Tooty takes his lyrics in a rare direction and touches on topics like self-medication, police brutality and mass incarceration. Tooty demonstrates an intelligence and social awareness that we often miss in popular hip-hop. In “Underground Railroad,” Tooty lulls, “It’s all about passion. Live while you’re here, you only get one casket.”
Tooty continues the theme of triumph in the grittier sounding “Stepping Stone,” when he calls himself “the voice of the ghetto” while referring to the EP as an audio-documentary.
An audio-documentary it is, indeed, considering the plethora of emotional struggles paired with modern day social justice issues.
Sonically, “Suicidal Thoughts” creates a halcyon ambience where tracks like “Runaway Slave” and “Dysphoria” offer hypnotically spoken lyrics over a heartbeat background.
“Mile Before Perfect,” featuring XVRHLDY, changes things up with a more soulful sound that resembles a classic R&B style. “Underground Railroad” features a drowsy beat behind soft-spoken lyrics, a la Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
“Suicidal Thoughts” is a refreshing change from the pool of mainstream, shallow hip-hop records. Tooty manages to touch on his own personal struggles and parallel them to social issues of today with his uniquely poetic lyrics.