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Album reviews
Artist:
RMR
Album:
Drug Dealing is a Lost Art
Release year:
2020
Label:
Warner Records Inc. , CMNTY RCRDS
22 June 2020 / by Demar Grant (author)

Movement: Trap, Country

Lane: N/A

 

When RMR burst onto the scene with ‘Rascal’ he brought to light a combination very seldom seen. A country song, with his twangy voice and a delicate piano was accompanied by gritty lyrics fit for a trap banger. It’s stuck out as a song that could only exist in 2020, a combo spawned from music’s ever-growing homogeneity. As genres converge, RMR has formed his own trap lane and it comes with a country twang.

Hip hop and country look dichotomous. The people look different, the flexes are different and the references are different but RMR found the through lines. Trap (and rap in general) has been trending closer to guitar led production but RMR’s brings it to the nth degree. Drug Dealing is a Lost Art’s plucky strings act as a guide for his twangy voice on ‘Dealer’. Although strewn with hi-hats RMR skates a line only he can see spitting “Hit Diego, NASCAR, get my ki's up/ That's the plug, my amigo, Dr. Re-up.”

Drug Dealing is a Lost Art features the likes of Westside Gunn, Future and Lil Baby but all enter his realm stumbling. Westside Gunn’s strained vocals only highlight how complimentary RMR and his production are. And when Future and Lil Baby join RMR on the 'Dealer (remix)' their lax, lengthy verses fall flat while cutting out RMR’s super slick bridge.

Those memorable hooks and brilliant bridges are the crux of his EP.  They encase his brisk 4-bar verses on 'Nouveau Riche' while RMR’s vocal variation keeps things from getting stale. Drug Dealing is a Lost Art is packed with hook friendly songs molded around RMR’s voice but the emotive style of hook-making leaves holes. When RMR ventures out of his country nook on 'Silence' his choruses dominate the atmospheric and aquatic synths just like any other song. The difference is “That's why you got one friend, Her name is cocaine, Shut it down when you walk in, You stay lit, like propane” lands like a drunk gymnast.

But when the hooks land the rest is all gravy. Country trap is RMR’s lane and his alone. The further he deviates from it the worse he sounds. And the closer rappers come to him the more evidence that he’s best traveling this old town road alone.

 

Rating: 7/10

Heat: Rascal, Dealer, I'm Not Over You

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The author

Demar Grant

Editor in Chief. @DemarJGrant

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