I don’t ask for much, you guys. A thin blanket in the winter, a fresh orange in my Christmas stocking… that’s all I need to be happy. But today, just today, I’d like to ask for something more. I’d like us to make Rye Rye a superstar rapper.
At the moment, she’s a semi-famous/well-respected rapper. Maybe you’ve heard “Never Will Be Mine,” her sick collaboration with Robyn, or maybe you’ve read charming interviews like this one on Vulture. And that’s great. We’ve all got to start somewhere.
But now it’s time for the next level. Now that I’ve heard her debut album Go! Pop! Bang!, which was released yesterday, I’ve realized that Rye Rye belongs with rappers like Nicki Minaj and Wiz Khalifa, who make people bounce all over the world. (I said before that she was a great female rapper, but she’s just a great rapper, full stop.)
Need some proof? Let’s start with “Boom Boom,” which is one of her hits (relatively speaking.) Over a beat that samples the 90s club anthem “Boom Boom Boom Boom” by Vengaboys, Rye Rye lets us know that she’s looking for a hot-ass time with a hot-ass man. More specifically, she’s looking for a “naughty friend,” which is cute way of talking dirty.
That’s the vibe of this whole song. Deep down, it’s nasty—she wants to watch porn with her boyfriend!—but the beat is so bubbly and the rhymes are so clever that you can be charmed by the freakiness.
Here’s a live performance of “Boom Boom” from the NewNowNext Awards:
Granted, with one major exception (see below), Rye Rye pretty much only talks about sex and dancing. In real life, she’s a mother, and her baby’s father was paralyzed after getting shot. Maybe in the future, she’ll explore some of that heavier stuff, but if you’re just going to party, you should do it with the flare she brings to “DNA.” Check out the massive chorus and the husky-voiced, aggressive flow.
And let’s not forget the arrogant awesomeness of “Better than You,” which has the audacity to sample “Anything You Can Do” from the classic Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun. You’ve got to be cool to pull off a show tune. (See also: “Hard Knock Life” by Jay-Z.) The album version is slightly different from this live performance, but they both feature M.I.A. and they’re both outstanding.
And you know what? Let’s look back at “Never Will Be Mine,” because… seriously. It blends Rye Rye’s flow with Robyn’s brokenhearted chorus, and it rules. It’s also a rare exploration of Rye Rye’s sadness, and it demonstrates that she can handle darker feelings.
So… there you go. A little evidence that Rye Rye is ready for the major leagues.
So let’s help her! Truly, that is all I want from you. Thank you for remembering me in my time of need.