free download + review: tinashe’s talent is crystal clear on ‘black water’ mixtape

December 9, 2013

Good r&b has been making a comeback these past few years. For a hot minute it appeared to have de-evolved into a jumble of empty champagne bottles and orgies. 20 year old songstress Tinashe is one of RCA’s newest and brightest stars. Last year, she released mixtapes In Case We Die and Reverie (which helped her nab the attention of her current label). Despite being signed, Black Water is not her debut release off the major label. Her debut album will not arrive until sometime in 2014, but every good artist knows not to keep their fans hanging for too long… so think of Black Water as a little audio foreplay. Some much needed titillation before the main event. And boy, does it deliver.

By Ayara Pommels, AFROPUNK Contributor *

Free Download HERE

Tinashe has called in the heavyweights to ensure the production side of things is solid. Clams Casino, Ryan Hemsworth, T-Minus, Boi-1da, Fisticuffs, as well as Ritz Reynolds and Best Kept Secret all feature on this project. The beats have a brooding, slightly haunting theme running through them, tying them all together much like a storyboard. Evidently, Black Water was not an afterthought, throwing leftover tracks together, but more a delicately executed excursion.

Tinashe also released the video to her track “Vulnerable” (which features Travi$ Scott). The black and white dance visuals show the young beauty showing off yet another talent of hers. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, but she can move too. No doubt about that. I can’t be the only one who listened to the track and saw the video and immediately thought of 90’s superstar Aaliyah. The similarities are uncanny but what I like is that it doesn’t appear to be forced. Tinashe exudes natural talent.

Black Water is a smooth listen from start to finish. The title track is reminiscent of the 90’s era. Powerful, layered honeyed vocals over a deliciously uncomplicated beat. “Video Tapes” pays homage to her Zimbabwean roots with a sample of a song sung in Shona, the traditional language of Zimbabwe.

On this project, Tinashe spotlights all of the things that are closest to her heart. From love, to heartbreak to her pride about her African roots, it’s all here. Black Water is one of my favorite mixtapes of the year. I eagerly anticipate her debut album. She’ll be giving a few high profile artists a run for their money, for sure.

* Ayara Pommells is Owner of UK website and a music writer for, & as well as an entertainment writer for Kontrol Magazine. Follow @YahYahNah.