We first met Chattanooga, TN’s TUT back in a January edition of 5 On It through his stellar debut project Preacher’s Son. Described by TUT as “an album that depicts a young man growing up in both the church, and the streets; raised on confronting the traumas of bad choices, experiencing the redemptive power of hope and the overwhelming joys of love and charity,” Preacher’s Son tackled ambitious, classic choices and themes with enjoyable grace, music never taking a back seat to message.

New single “Outside,” TUT’s first since Preacher’s Son, provides the next step in the rapper’s narrative arc. As TUT describes it, “Outside” is the bridge “from inside the church aisles to outside,” the daily confrontation with a community’s struggle for survival. Producer Ktoven (who served as the architect of much of Preacher’s Son’s organic, distinctly southern sound) provides a soundtrack both suitably laid back and heavy, a perfect accompaniment to TUT’s rapping and vocal tone. While “Outside” still fits very much in the sonic and conceptual realms of Preacher’s Son, it’s nice to hear another strong outing from an emerging young rapper so soon after his first steps.