Reach Records’ Tedashii finally dropped his long-awaited Never Fold album last Friday. The common consensus is that it is a hard-hitting yet dense project. Labelmates 1k Phew and WHATUPRG each dropped EPs that were 7 tracks a piece but Tedashii’s album is a whopping 17 songs. It seems like more songs were added rather than cut from the album but interestingly enough, the opposite is true.
In between his 2016’s This Time Around EP and 2019’s Never Fold Tedashii released 8 singles in total:
“Way Up (ft. KB)” (11/17/17)
“Splash (ft. 1k Phew)” (1/12/18)
“Gotta Live” (5/23/18)
“We Came to Play (ft. Canon)” (7/20/18)
“What’s the Case (ft. nobigdyl.)” (7/20/18)
Of those singles, only “Gotta Live” and “Smile” made the cut for the album with a redux of “Splash” also added. Never Fold is certainly not a lesser album (quality-wise) for not having these songs added but it is interesting to see where the missing songs can be inserted to tell the complete Never Fold story. Bloated tracklists can sink projects rather than help (Exhibits A & B: Migos’ Culture 2 & Drake’s Scorpion ) but in Tedashii’s case, the cut singles fill just the right niche.
The additions to the tracklist are in bold below:
- There’s a Heaven
- God Flex (ft. Trip Lee)
- Get Out My Way (ft. Lecrae)
- Splash (ft. 1K Phew)
- Son of Sam
- Home (ft. Crowder)
- Way Up (ft. KB)
- We Came To Play (ft. Canon)
- Splash II (ft. 1K Phew, Jarry Manna & Parris Chariz)
- What’s the Case (ft. nobigdyl.)
- Step into Love (ft. Sarah Reeves)
- My Lifestyle
- Gotta Live (ft. Jordan Feliz)
- Hold Me Down
- All In Love (ft. Kam Parker)
- Full Effect
- Won’t Bring Me Down
- It is Well
Without further ado, let’s get into the reasons why the singles should be organized in this way.
The transition between “There’s A Heaven” and “God Flex” is a jarring one and no doubt Tedashii means to catch listeners by surprise by placing the two together. “Emmanuel” however acts as a perfect transition between the two songs. It carries forth the tender and brighter tones of “There’s A Heaven” but swaps out crooning for darker raps. It offers listeners another moment of reprieve before switching gears into the kinetic and energized first quarter of the album.
Admittedly, inserting “Splash” seems a little redundant given that its guest-heavy sequel is also on the album but Tedashii spits some heat on the track that makes the song still worth including:
“I can’t pay that cost, yah / I got used to free, yah / They say that we blind, naw man you finna see”
Making “Splash” track number 5 ensures that by the time “Splash II” comes in at track 10, there is more than enough distance between listens. Additionally, by putting it right after “Get Out My Way” it completes an unofficial trilogy of Tedashii going toe-to-toe fellow labelmates on tracks (a quadrilogy if you count the Andy Mineo’s sample at the beginning of “Son of Sam”).
“Way Up,” “We Came to Play,” “What’s the Case,” and “Messenger”
In the original tracklist, after the great duet between Tedashii and Crowder on “Home,” the album oscillates a bit between bangers (“Splash II” and “Water”) and more vibrant pop-esque songs (“Diamonds” and “Step into Love”). “Way Up” and “We Came to Play” go hard for sure but sonically they echo “Home” more than the fast-paced “Splash II” and “Water” and should thus be placed after. “What’s the Case” and “Messenger” likewise should take their bows before the album enters its more upbeat and brighter phase.
The album more or less flows together smoothly after “Water” and you could really place “Free” anywhere in that second half. Since “Full Effect” has a similar cadence and EDM influence, placing “Free” a few tracks before it likewise ensures that the sequencing does not get too repetitive.