People Who Are Addicted To Music
This remarkably single-minded record about wanting money or the process of getting money is so obscure and one-dimensional that it becomes fascinating
In this day and age it’s hard to leave no digital trail whatsoever, especially for an artist. But this is what trap/rap artist Chocolate Ty’ (AKA Taneesha Aquafina, AKA Taneesha Tomlin) appears to have managed. There are two live clips on YouTube, both with less than 300 views, and an “official music video” for Resume, in which Ty drives an old Ford with what appear to be broken windscreen wipers (as of writing, that one has had 164 views). But other than auto-generated listings for this album, that’s it. As far as I can make out not one blog, newspaper or aggregator has even mentioned Queen of the City.
Where have you been, people? This is a slept-on classic, with Chocolate Ty’ unfurling some of the most remarkable lines in recent hip-hop history. “She got her own house, but she stay in a hotel,” she notes admiringly during Bad Girl. “She always gonna prosper, so bad she need an Oscar.” On My Baby Daddy, she tuts disapprovingly about a “slob, without a job” who can’t even buy her a corn on the cob; her man, however, “always has that money on Christmas”. While other rappers like to allude to making money rain down, Ty’ wants to Make It Drizzle. “My baby’s got to eat,” she notes, quite sensibly, “so let’s negotiate these deals.” Later she admits she sees money in her sleep: it’s “a trip, and I’m taking trips, going to the mall, buying all these clothes, y’all, hanging out with stars.” What specific stars remains unclear.
On Make Love to You, she unveils, via a shakily tuneless croon, some of her few boudoir secrets: “You can me be my kind o’ boy, we can do it on the floor.” Extasy is a love song to the drug ecstasy, in which Ty’ confirms she likes to pop one “before I get into bed, then I pop two right before he give me head.” Despite having claimed, earlier in the song, that she was generally out all night getting “that bread”, now Ty says she doesn’t like to talk on the phone when she’s high. “Only if a nigga trying to get me alone, you know I need that money, so show me straight trade then it’s on, a quick lick on the bone.”
And so it goes on, with Ty either wanting money or in the process of getting money. The music, a perfunctory stroll through the presets on a cheap keyboard, is similarly one-dimensional. But, perhaps because of its very limitations, Queen of the City becomes fascinating. The more you think about the record’s anonymity, the more you feel drawn to it. Ultimately, you find yourself wondering: are you the only person in the world who’s actually heard this thing all the way through?