I was suggested to check out Philadelphia Rapper/Songwriter Y.Ryda’s latest effort, an 8 track digital album simply titled, “Currently”. I was intrigued by the potential paths an artist could take with such a powerful title: a mainstay theme of mindful awareness. Firstly, I tip my hat to the lyricism in this album. Y.Ryda’s conscious effort of remaining lyrically entertaining in wordplay, metaphors, similes and more is appreciated as a fan of Hip Hop. The production throughout felt like one cohesive transition of moods and grooves (except for 99 Dead Rappers, which in its entirety felt like the segmented Bonus track). “Remind” had a sample groove I rewound until, of course: “The time has come to open thy heart/wallet”.
Despite the aforementioned, Currently felt like a lulling, repetitious vibe throughout its duration of play. Y.Ryda’s infectious cadence and vocal inflections began to pattern. His style grew seemingly formulaic, rendering each song’s new groove a uniformed vibe left by the last. I originally fell out of listening to the project fully the first time after 2 Wingz played. However, I rolled up and took a session of meditation with the music. It was only right to respect the art and be as objective as possible.
It’s no question that pain, drugs and the underdog story are constants in Hip Hop music. Therefore, hearing it so many times wasn’t as bothering considering the concept. There were moments whether an agenda for call and response could be questioned. With repetitive lyrics in even the verse selections, combined with chorus science alongside what appears to be a brand style? Seems like an unfair critique when many songs in history have employed those same tools for success. Granted, but most noteworthy, the magic hits deeper when it isn’t so overt.
Regardless of my take, I am anxious to hear and see the growth of this upcoming act from the city. This is a launching pad for growth that I am certain will yield doper fruit. For now, you can listen to Y.Ryda’s Currently for yourself and appreciate all there is from this passionate artist.