wavvvy: “melona” shatters the reductive binaries that continually plague hip-hop

“Melona” is a beautiful and banging album that was conceived, crafted and performed in the spirit and essence of rap, all bathed in chilled and trippy soundscapes by re-branded artist – wavvvy. Listening to this album brings back that good feeling that Hip-Hop is out of intensive care and recovering well from the strictly pop sickness and is in a stable condition. The album is entirely written, recorded and engineered by wavvvy, who shatters the reductive binaries that continually plague hip-hop. He is unabashedly sentimental and nostalgic when he wants to be. And he is also unafraid to be vulnerable or to show anxieties when the occasion calls. Still, he can exhibit the effortless swagger of someone destined to massive club rooms when he sets his mind to it. Mainly though, wavvvy stays intimate, close-up and laidback, almost perfect for those headphone listens in your bedroom at midnight.

The beats are both dripping with soul and absolutely knocks on speakers that can handle it – and then it transitions into glitchy madness. That bit of playfulness is an almost necessary dose of levity on the more serious cuts. There’s a lightning-in-bottle element to the album where each of these choices feels both totally logical and totally unexpected. All throughout the recording wavvvy tries experimenting with different sounds and rapping styles, trying really hard not to be pigeonholed on this sensational entrance onto the scene.

The beats are extremely refined, and have many layers to them, making every subsequent listen very rewarding. What this brings to the album is a chilled-out vibe, making it perfect for background listening, while still working great as a straight-up hip-hop album.

Yet as previously mentioned, on track like “Virtual Reality”, a simple turn of the volume knob will put you on the dance floor. The beats and the raps are more or less on the same level of importance (if one can say so), and it makes this album much more intriguing than many other albums in the same genre right now. As everything works on the same level, this means that there are less lower or higher points on the recording, making it a much more consistent and all-in-all cohesive album.

Wavvvy’s rapping is also on par here, as he doesn’t make the mistake of rapping too straight, without however, being too far out. He has found a laid-back and eclectic middle-ground and wrapped it in warm echoed and fuzzy effects. His rapping is chilled out, mixing in perfectly with the atmosphere created by the masterful beat-making.

The lyrics are as down-to-earth as ever, and create a personal picture of relationships in their mutating states. This comes particularly through on standouts like “another love song” ft. dilligentHITMAN, “falling out of ubers” ft. kyle thornton, “forbidden love” and “come & go”.

Wavvvy doesn’t seem to be one to follow a strict formula when it comes to writing his songs, and this makes for interesting listening. He has managed to somehow stay in what sounds like his comfort zone while also adding something new to the equation, like the track “mineral water (outro)”, making this a whole new listening experience, and in turn making an album that is as appealing when taken as easy-listening background-music than as a more classic rap album, and has as a whole delivered an extremely satisfying record for all those who prefer their sounds adventurous and left-field.

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