Rubi Rose - Intro
“Intro” features on Rubi Rose’s debut mixtape titled “For The Streets''. The project contains eight songs, including her 2020 hit “He In His Feelings.” It also includes features from Future and PARTYNEXTDOOR. The track itself is eerily reminiscent of both Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares'' and Cardi B’s “Get Up 10” which itself was inspired by Meek Mill’s timeless track.
Like the 2 aforementioned tracks “Intro” starts with a dominant piano paired with emotional lyrics that delve into the hardships and difficulties of making it within the industry. In Rubi Rose’s track she mentions the difficulty with money she had early on in the following lyrics “They came and repossessed the Benz, a bitch felt like a skunk / It's like he tried to box me in, put a bitch on the ropes”. The production itself was incredible as the piano provided the base for the track before soft violins were layered on top of it and the pre-chorus and chorus were carried home by an infectious deep base pattern coupled with trap hi hats.
Words of Cardi B praising Rubi Rose’s cadence finished the song off as Cardi stated “A lot of female artists, they don’t have that voice. You could rap and rap and rap but if you don’t have that voice you don’t have it” and this is high praise from one of the biggest names in female rap , who went on to affirm the skillset and talent of an individual who seeks to have as great, if not greater a career.
SZA - Good Days
In a very quiet 2020 for SZA her new track “Good Days” brings about just her 2nd solo release of the year. ‘Good Days’ is the b-side to ‘Hit Different’. It was originally teased at the end of the video for that previous single. It also features vocals from Grammy-nominated North London musician Jacob Collier.
Tackling trials and tribulations are strong themes seen to present within her life and they are carefully articulated within this song ; but it seems like its nothing SZA isn’t willing or able to deal with by herself as she states “Feelin' like Job when he lost his shit, Gotta hold my own, my cross to bear alone”. Very strong biblical references are present here also as the story of Job in the bible depicts the story of a wealthy man of great morals who God gave satan the permission to test and he ended up losing his family, his health, and his property as a result of this. The phrase “cross to bear” refers to an ordeal one must endure by oneself and this phrase comes from the bible as it refers to the cross Jesus had to carry on the way to his own crucifixion.
The production on this track is amazing also as the melodic high pitched guitar rhythm perfectly pairs with the gentle drum pattern and this is later met with the standout harmonising between Jacob Collier and SZA in the chorus which ties together an all round amazing song.
Ed Sheeran - Afterglow
Ed Sheeran released “Afterglow” after nearly 18 months since his last release in the shape of his collaborative album “No.6 Collabortions Project”.
This track itself is an acoustic ballad which features nothing more than his guitar and vocals. Stripping this song back to these 2 components evokes large degrees of nostalgia with this type of production being reminiscent of his earlier work in “+”. The stripped back production style works very well with the lyrics present within the track also as they are made to feel both more impactful and intimate.
The title of the song “Afterglow” does seem to be strongly related to the birth of his daughter Lyra, with the definition of the word ‘afterglow’ referring to the feelings felt after a good or positive experience. Lyrics such as “We were love drunk, waiting on a miracle” do nothing but add to the idea that this song was born out of the love he felt for his first born.