1999 – [Rich Brian]

Rich Brian has been on an absolute tear recently, and I’ve had a blast watching all of the moves he’s made unfold. While he might’ve come onto the scene as a meme rapper, his talent and unique voice were clearly enthralling, and it was awesome to see Brian recognize this and turn it into a legitimate career that is now thriving. Recently, he has somewhat ditched his quick bars including his atypically low voice for a more Indie-inspired singing style that I have been a fan of since I first heard it. It might be a different sound than we anticipated when he first took the music industry by storm, but I’m here for it and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Luckily and surprisingly, he dropped off a brand-new EP for fans called 1999, and although it was unexpected, it was definitely much appreciated. This 7 song, almost 24-minute project includes a small sample size of his various different skills, sometimes returning to his more straightforward bars while other times showing off his newly found singing aptitudes. On the project’s opening record “Sometimes”, amused, upbeat synths lay the foundation for the melody as curious piano keys enter and exit in the blink of an eye. Eventually, snaps are added into the instrumental to provide some tempo prior to marching band-sounding drums taking over the landscape of the track. Throughout this entire thing, Brian effortlessly breezes through his parts, keeping the rhythm going even when the percussion is absent and showing off some of the various rhyme schemes that have put him on the map. Towards the end, he opens his vocals up a bit more before a filter covers his voice and makes him sound like he is singing into a loudspeaker, giving a small amount of grit to the otherwise purified hit.

On “Don’t Care”, light, rotating synths sound as if they’re tiptoeing up and downstairs before other high-pitched synths come into the picture and slide all over the place in the perfect manner. Brian raises his level of enthusiasm as he spits on this track, providing some vitality to the already lively instrumental. In the hook, he belts out his notes, sliding certain words to compliment the beat seamlessly before toning his demeanor down slightly and getting into his verse. The following song is “Long Run” and this mixes somewhat tropical, guitar-sounding synths with more intergalactic noises that Brian sings over in a meaningful yet nonchalant fashion. The drums don’t come in until about a third of the way through, but as soon as they do, so much enthusiasm and energy enters into the picture and allows this song to ride out the rest of the way.

“When You Come Home” slows things down, utilizing emotional piano riffs paired with some organ notes of some sort. Brian comes in soon, and although he’s singing, he doesn’t necessarily raise the tone of his voice, keeping his baritone sound to complement the higher notes within the beat. This also lets him get into a wider range of sounds as the song moves along, allowing Brian to show off his variety and raw talents. “DOA” might start out slower and somewhat spacey, but before you know it, the drums and percussion kick in, and we’re taken back to an ‘80s Pop-sounding song that is the liveliest song on the project, without a doubt. Brian’s words are sung quickly in order to match the tempo, but the expression behind his lyrics provide even more animation and hurry to the upbeat banger. “Love in My Pocket” is next and considering that was a single that has been out for a while, I’ll skip right over that and head into the last song which is called “Sins”. On this track, quick, concise guitar strums and minimal percussive elements give Brian a runway to truly show off his talents without obstructing the purity behind his vocals, leaving us on the perfect note and bringing the entire EP to a close.

If you haven’t familiarized yourself with Rich Brian quite yet, you’re surely missing out. Luckily, 1999 seems to be the perfect project to introduce you to the massive talent because it’s fairly concise but it also shows off a complete variety of his very dexterous skills throughout its duration. He didn’t even include a single feature, which can be bold for some artists, but not Brian, because his various talents all come together to keep this project fresh and clean from beginning to end. He doesn’t even need to use much autotune or vocal effects if any at all which seems to be a new concept that many other artists in the current day and age of music don’t seem to understand. All in all, Rich Brian has continuously proved that he deserves a spot in the music industry after the countless hits he has put out, so he deserves your respect if nothing else. I highly suggest you find some time today to give 1999 a listen because it’s sure to not disappoint.