Listen to “Table 42” by Taphari

Resilience is a dirty word. Though it’s a virtue in small doses, prolonged disappointment still gnaws at the strongest souls. On “Table 42,” Brownsville, Brooklyn rapper Taphari transforms a single moment of vulnerability—being stood up on a date—into a confrontation with deeper wounds from which he’s still working to heal. Staring down an empty chair at a table set for two, Taphari catalogs the all-too-familiar feelings of disenchantment. “I had to trade in my heart/To rise up from underneath/I had to cut them all off/To get up off my knees,” he raps, his smooth delivery bathed in moody piano. Gut-wrenching realizations (“I wish my heart was as resilient as my expectations”) slip out in a jaded sigh. Pink Siifu’s guest verse matches the languid energy, playing with non-sequiturs as his voice warps through a series of vocal filters. In the chorus, Taphari’s croon alternates between devastation (“Gave you my number/I stood up and waited for you”) and winking desperation (“You know where I live/I still set the table for two”). Even as he’s worn down by his own strength, Taphari isn’t above leaving one more voicemail.