grouptherapy.’s latest offering in a prolific 2022 dropped this Monday, December 5th in the form of new single Untitled. Once again, the LA collective chose to feature one of their members as a solo act. And this time, with TJOnline in the spotlight. Produced, written and performed by ‘TJW’, Untitled was leaked to YouTube in August 2021, becoming an immediate pandemic classic. Now, with it’s official release, it’s time to celebrate the immense, multihyphenate talents of TJOnline, evidenced through the dynamic single.
For years, TJ (Tyrel Jackson Williams) starred as Leo Dooley in Disney XD series Lab Rats. He also had lead roles in the film Pants on Fire and in comedy series Brockmire.
Like fellow grouptherapy members Jadagrace and SWIM, TJOnline has shed his identity as a Hollywood actor, and the perception that comes along with it. Untitled is another example of why that move was the right decision. TJ’s balance of hitmaking ability, and meaningful lyricism is a rare gift, one that is set to propel grouptherapy. to the heights of hip-hop infamy.
Untitled puts TJ’s diverse skills as a producer, songwriter and performing artist on full display. Through its wavy synth chords and bouncy percussion, the beat inspires vicious head nods and an insatiable urge to dance. However, it also provides TJ with the perfect backdrop to spit a fire verse and catchy hook. In the tradition of previous grouptherapy. records, Untitled walks the tightrope between fun and meaningful.
Thematically, Untitled exhibits the feelings many of us dealt with post quarantine. People associate great attachment to places. They correlate locations with the emotions and people that are tied to them in memory. This propensity is a great one when the memories are positive, but can be haunting and emotionally scarring when those past experiences are painful.
“Me and what’s her name got beers here, and ramen./Talked our favorite rappers and fears we had in common./Maybe I’m not meant to be anything more than Internet./We hooked up on the couch after Mario on the switch./I thought we’d be exclusive, but naw,/ we never got official like a suit and a tie, bitch it’s casual.”
After sharing the specific details, TJ makes a more universal claim on the hook, where he repeatedly states, “I don’t wanna go outside no more.” This is an especially sad claim as it came when the world was starting to open back up.
“Untitled was a song I wrote after getting out of the pandemic and realizing a lot of my favorite places either reminded me of bad memories or relationships that went really sour,” TJ shared. “It’s a weird phenomenon, but it’s a part of growing up I think. Sometimes the best memories are the ones you want to return to the least.”
That said, the ability to synthesize such powerful emotions is what keeps fans returning to TJOnline again and again. Once again, grouptherapy. have artfully found a way to bridge the gap between music that’s fun, and powerfully conceptual.