Article Review

Emerson’s Rundown: June 2021

“My Phone” – Kalyan Rath; “No More” – Raptor; “Buss Down” – ITSGURRR; new releases from the end of June 2021

“My Phone” – Kalyan Rath

The hyper pop sound is alive and well with the latest release from Vancouver artist Kalyan Rath “My Phone”.

Mixing two of his favourite genres, hip-hop and EDM, the 18-year-old paints a picture of subjugation for his fans—and his haters. Though this track tells more than one story, it’s mainly about overcoming obstacles. In order to do this, sometimes you have to put yourself before others, whether a toxic friend or lover. In Kalyan’s situation, it’s both.

He kills two birds with one stone and nods towards Soulja Boy’s “Kiss Me Thru The Phone”, but not in a loving way. That’s one stone for the toxic lover, but what about his detractors? The Burnaby-based artist burns his last bridge and throws a cheeky stray bullet to anyone who chooses to make themselves his competition:

 “I’m the best in my city; all these other rappers are weird.” 

– Kalyan Rath

Haters, proceed with caution!

Lyrical content aside, you can tell that Rath had fun with the production on this track. He allows for a 30-second outro where the listener can hear a lead melody that resembles a ring tone. A gesture towards the title of the song? I can only imagine.

If you need a crash course on how to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and put all of the bullsh*t behind you, this song will definitely do the trick.

“No More” – Raptor 

Cover art for “No More”, submitted by the artist

Raptor is back with more music that will have you doing double-takes. If you’re already a fan of this artist, the subject matter of this new track isn’t surprising.

“No More” perfectly resembles Raptor’s attitude towards the mainstream music industry. He doesn’t have a single care in the world for censorship or sensitivity, and there are numerous lines that I’m honestly not sure I can repeat in this article. Just know that they are explicit and straight to the point.

Raptor also pays homage in his chorus to Fat Joe and Terror Squad by referencing their biggest song to date, “Lean Back”. Respectable! 

Lastly, we have the cover art—the iconic Jack Daniels bottle but remodelled to fit the brand of Raptor’s collective, Sevens Studios. This visual foreshadows the story behind “No More” and how inebriated Raptor becomes throughout the song. Perhaps Jack Daniels is his liquor of choice?

“Buss Down” – ITSGURRR

Cover art for “Buss Down”, submitted by the artist

“Buss Down” by ITSGURRR comes straight from the streets of Surrey.

The beat of choice is very West Coast; it has a bounce reminiscent of artists like YG, Mustard, G-Eazy, and so on. Minimalistic and easy to rock to, you can tell what the Surrey artist was going for with this tune.

The lyrics fit perfectly with the music, and there’s no doubt at how meticulous Gurrr is with his beat selection. With his last single “Between Us”, he introduced his audience to his vocal range and ability to stack his vocals in a pleasing manner.

With a song that is less R&B and more hip-hop, the listener might wonder how this will carry in “Buss Down”. To the audience’s surprise, this technique continues during the last four bars of his first verse.

If you’re a true 2000’s R&B fan, your brain wouldn’t have allowed you to miss the Chris Brown reference; Gurrr ends his first verse with a play on words to Brown’s “Run It!” with the line “Back to back now; we’re running this like Chris Breezy.” It’s clear that Gurrr is a true R&B fan.

New experiment at Rhythm Changes: a Spotify playlist with R&B, hip hop, and other beat-driven music that we’ve covered. Follow it here.

By Emerson Marshall

Emerson Marshall–also known as Emerson Ettore–works in radio and is currently an on-air personality at Vancouver Co-Op Radio. He loves introducing people to new Canadian and local talent.