Review Summary: Ronny J, listen up
Harsh, aggressive, distorted and dark. Four words to describe the transformation of the mainstream hip hop scene that has been taking place over the past few years, and four words to describe Ronny J's production. Perhaps best known for his direct association with Denzel Curry, Ronny J was the man behind the production of trap bangers such as Ultimate, a song that made massive waves on the internet after it was literally memed into popularity. (I wish I was joking.)
On his debut mixtape, Ronny J delivers the hard-hitting production we've come to expect from him along with an impressive amount of features, most of which are winners rather than losers. Sounds like a recipe for trap success, doesn't it?
As it turns out, Ronny J doesn't just want to be categorized as a producer. Of course, he has to jump on the train of autotune-heavy singers that have been infesting the rap scene ever since the start of the SoundCloud days. As if features on all but two of the songs weren't enough already, Ronny J shoves in his boring, unoriginal and uninteresting vocals into almost every song on the mixtape. Throughout the tape, we have Ronny's signature distorted and aggressive production paired with lazy and airy vocals, creating a significant contrast that makes for more of a snoozefest than an interesting experimental direction. Instead of just adding nothing to the tape, in many cases it actually degrades the overall quality of it further.
Unfortunately, it seems like Ronny J fails to understand the concept that rap fans don't want another discount Travis Scott, and even if some people do occasionally want a discount Travis Scott, we don't want one on every single song he makes. It's only a waste of Ronny's great production to not extend the aggressiveness of his beats to the vocals themselves; there's a reason why songs such as Ultimate have blown up, and it's not just because of the production.
It's undeniable that Ronny J has quite a bit of potential as a producer to create some of the best trap music out there. It's just a shame that on his debut, the underlying beats are tarnished by his boring vocals.