TDE Affiliates Kembe X and Bando. Capture the Spotlight

Freddie Fine

While we all (impatiently) wait for the big names of TDE to finally drop music, affiliates of the group are beginning to steal the show. Longtime collaborator and “friend of the family” Kembe X is back with his third single of the year, “Cozy Forever”. Kembe X has long been connected with the group, having been on tour with ScHoolboy Q and worked on songs with Zacari, Isaiah Rashad, and Ab-Soul among others.

Beginning with a reggae sample, “Cozy Forever” rapidly bursts onto the scene with a heavy beat drop, highlighted by a horn riddled instrumental. Kembe X jumps straight into a high-energy verse, and if that wasn’t enough, follows it up on the second verse with a buttery flow. His versatility is on full show throughout the song, displaying various rapping styles on each verse. The hook brings elements of Isaiah Rashad, and it’s easy to see why, given their history together. 

Kembe X also delivers an important message on the song, saying on Instagram, “i will never spend another moment worried about or focused on anybody that don’t like me or thinks ill of me, because it’s way too many of y’all that have been supporting me for way too long. my new goal is to energize the kembe x community, inspire those who don’t want to see me win and piss off the people who don’t.” If this is the start of a new era for Kembe X then the future is incredibly bright. 

Also turning heads - and turning them so quickly you better watch out for whiplash - is the first music release of the year from Bando. titled “Payday” with Isaiah Rashad. If you haven’t heard of the Texas rapper yet, consider this your invitation to the Bando-wagon. I was so captivated by “Payday” that I had to listen to his entire discography following the release, and it did not disappoint. However, there’s no sugarcoating that “Payday” stole the show and has not been taken off repeat yet. 

If you had told me “Payday” was off of Isaiah Rashad’s The House is Burning I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Bando. is able to put his own spin on a Rashad song with his upbeat rapping style and incredible flows, along with clever lines such as, “I need my bank doubled up, triplеd up / Westbrook probably be proud of me.” Complemented by Rashad’s laid back style, the two work perfectly together - a collaboration that will hopefully deliver again in the future.

It was a true full circle moment for Bando. who said on his Instagram story, “7 years ago my and my bros went to a Zay concert back when he was just starting out wit TDE...Fast forward, I’m droppin a single wit em, now as a peer. Can’t really put into words what it feels like but the work been put in, and continues to be.”

Both artists should serve as inspiration to keep striving and working towards your goals because hard work will pay off. Check out both releases below:

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