Timi O offers timeless life lessons on ‘Clouds Look Like Mountains From Above’

Leave feeling lighter and level-headed after dipping your toes into the rapper's musical realm.
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Emily Whitchurch
Freelance writer and final year student at University College London. Email: emilywhitchurch1@gmail.com

Combining hard-hitting lyrics with polished production, Timi O has established a strong reputation for his “poetic and profound” hip-hop music since uploading his first track to SoundCloud in 2015. Clouds Look Like Mountains From Above is the latest EP from the Massachusetts-born rapper, sharing timeless life lessons against powerful, modern beats.

Timi O’s punchy vocals take center stage at the start of “Flight of the Ibadan Malimbe,” which opens the EP with a confident commitment to his artistry and performance: “Imma show up every time ‘cause it’s all that I know,” he reassures listeners. The track’s title references a rare songbird found in Nigeria, as Timi O pays homage to his roots while reflecting on growing up and flying the nest. Midway through the song, an upbeat rhythm jumps in, thumping against candid lyricism to create an effortless flow with a palpable energy that draws us in for more.

Moving into brooding “Inebriation,” the track starts with muffled spoken word before suddenly descending into a deeper, heavier soundscape. Haunting piano notes float across the song, adding further dimension and creating a more somber tone as Timi O sheds light on themes of maturity and evolution. “Don’t chase acknowledgment I’m like who cares / really though, list of accomplishments, teary-eyed at the thought of it” he muses, striking a balance between being proud and remaining humble.

Meanwhile, “One Body” opens with a more subdued piano, as Timi O unpacks the nuances of self-love and self-reflection. “Can’t see your reflection in the water when it boils;” he addresses the clouded judgment and lack of self-awareness that can arise when intense negative emotions consume us. Warped vocals further enhance this idea of distorted self-perception, as both the style and substance of “One Body” complement one another to convey a clear message of growth and sensibility.

Continuing to share his wisdom and insight, Timi O collaborates with friend and producer Lucas DeLisle, known professionally as l.ucas, on the pensive “Life You Afforded.” Listeners are immediately confronted with hard truths about the inefficacy of material possessions, as the song begins with “the dollars won’t complete you if you’re running out of reasons.” Clouds Look Like Mountains From Above follows a natural ebb and flow, with fast, almost frantic beats in “Life You Afforded” picking the pace back up. However, Timi and l.ucas prove themselves to be skilled curators of dynamic sonic layers—the track briefly shifts back into deeper, darker sounds before ending with sparse piano, allowing Timi O’s emotive vocals to shine.

Closing Clouds Look Like Mountains From Above is “Groceries,” weaving together snippets of advice to offer a final roadmap to self-improvement. “What’s a dollar if you already got your time spent?” Timi O contemplates against more mellow, laid-back instrumentals. Crafting a cohesive EP, this echoes the themes of “Life You Afforded” and reminds us that money is no substitute for time. In just two and a half minutes, “Groceries” emphasizes the importance of flexibility, humility, and tranquility—listeners are left feeling a little lighter and more level-headed after dipping their toes into Timi O’s musical realm. With a short but inspiring project, he shatters the stereotype that hip-hop lyrics are violent and aggressive by offering a refreshing reminder to be true to yourself, work hard, and stay humble.

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