Sample Sessions: Stress 3
No stops. No skips. A one-take review.
With his humble beginnings as an underground Soundcloud rapper, Rushy has quickly risen to popularity and caught the eye of steadily growing fanbase in and across the U.K. In the lead up to the unveiling of his debut E.P. Stress 3, the West-London rapper released a string of singles including 'Faces' and 'S3 Way' filled with catchy hooks and excitable, reload-worthy lines. This 7 track tape features collaborations with fellow Straight3 members Lano and RomyJo, as well as production wizard, Honeywoodsix on 4 out of the 7 tracks . As per the rules, no stops, no skips, no rewinds.
If someone was to ask me who Rushy was, someone who'd never heard his music, this is the song I'd play. From the choice of instrumental, to the way his lyrics and flow interact with each other, this is a textbook Rushy song though and through. The production is jaunty, infectious and palpitating. Rushy and Honeywood have proved time and time again that they're a force to be reckoned with and this song is an example of that. This was a strong introduction and has set the standard for what to expect.
Lyrical Content: 7
2. Streets again
Produced by Apostle, Streets again begins with a resonant, mellow harp (or at least I think it's a harp), later accompanied by steady drums to which Rushy's melodic sing-song flow and catchy hook make a smooth entrance. This is definitely a recreational song, fitting with the theme of the E.P. There's a clear, well executed contrast between Rushy's and KO's flow. KO is much more abrasive while Rushy is melodic, especially in the hook.
Highlights: The chorus
Lyrical Content: 8
3. S3 WAY
Produced by Guillermo, the same hit-maker behind his debut single ‘Trippidy Trap’, S3 Way is a frisky, high-spirited beat, more so than the ones we've heard so far.
Rushy's flow is steady, with occasional unorthodox breaks and ad-libs and subtle intonation manipulation. While his verses seamlessly blend in the beats upbeat, playful nature, I can't help but think that the opening verse is a little rushed. I'm not sure what order the songs on this E.P. were recorded, but it wouldn't shock me if this was one of his earliest songs, as compared to the first two, there are clear artistic disparities and S3 Way sounds like it was early on in his career.
Highlights: Main melody
Lowlights: The opening verse felt slightly rushed (or Rushy, haha, pun intended) almost like it was a one take.
Lyrical Content: 6.5
If there's one thing Rushy's good at, it's a catchy hook. The chorus is somewhat laced with crack, it exudes excitability and is definitely reload worthy. Faces perfectly demonstrates how artistically multi dimensional Rushy is; In the space of just under four minutes he's demonstrated how well we works with melodies, his springy, bouncy flow and his almost theatrical delivery. The way he repeats certain words at the end of a line was my favourite aspect the the song. The production on this song was immaculate, *french kiss*. I will however say, the feature could have been much stronger. Rushy opened up, setting the bar very high and Romy JO's verse could have been better crafted to meet that standard.
Lowlights: Second verse
Lyrical Content: 7
5. Need money
Need money is a much more mellow, calmer song than the last one. Again, the energy is much more 'recreational' and fitting with the theme of the E.P. and sounds like exactly like what I'd listen to if I needed stress relief. Rushy manipulates his delivery cleverly here, switching and bouncing back between different flows. If I could reload this I would. The length was perfect, it ended exactly where I would have wanted to - an exemplary interlude. He said what he needed to say and left. The title was very much relatable.
Highlights: Whole song. Cant really fault it. length
Lyrical Content: 8
The production on Harder is so pristine and scrupulously crafted. It has a certain 'Je ne sais quoi' about it that sets this song aside from the others on the E.P., so much so that I'm lost for words.
Rushy's delivery is so effortlessly theatrical and preformative, especially in the opening few lines and throughout the hook. I especially enjoy how his intonations rise towards the end of each line. This is the type of song that deserves a COLORS performance. Honeywoodsix and Rushy are a force to be reckoned with on this song, I think this might be their best work. I'm not mad at the feature at all, in fact Lano's feature compliments the song nicely, and the two bounce off each other well with the way Lano's rap contrasts with Rushy's singing. Rushy's delivery on this song is unique and sets him aside from so many other rappers.
Lyrical Content: 9
7. Big Vibe
Big Vibe was a beautifully selected song to close off the E.P. The production is melancholic and soothing with soulful, jazzy melodies throughout. It reminds me of the production on Baduzim, if you took away the drums this could be the perfect instrumental for an Erykah Badu song. This soul/jazz-trap hybrid combined with the adoption of Rushy's voice, accent and flow make 'Big Vibe' uniquely representative of a sound that both Honeywoodsix and Rushy are at the forefront of cultivating, yet to be popularised in the U.K. music landscape. Rommy JO's verse is much stronger here than on Faces, this beat catered more towards him.
Lowlights: End of the song, without the singing it ould have been a higher score.
Lyrical Content: 7