Florida crooner YWN Melly is largely concerned with two things: romantic woes and murder. For every “Murder on my Mind” that the 19-year-old pens, he has a couple of banal love ballads in his back pocket. His delivery isn’t anything particularly original; Fetty Wap was doing this sorta mumble rap/canorous moan thing long before Melly turned his homicidal thoughts into a breakthrough. So just what does Melly bring to the table? What earned him attention on the internet, and what led to a Kanye West co-sign? Frankly, not much more than the occasionally inspired vocal melody, and some ludicrous lyrics (one of the most notable being his demand for “a Lambo with 18 passenger seats” on a diss song directed at PNC Bank).
Melly’s second mixtape, We All Shine, is further proof that he still has a ways to go in terms of differentiating himself from the SoundCloud pack; the majority of these 16 tracks are instantly forgettable, with derivative trap production that finds Melly exploiting the exact same warbled choral approach on nearly every song. The only real saving grace comes at about the midway point, with “Mixed Personalities” — the previously alluded to Kanye West-featuring song. Here, playing off of West’s hook, Melly seems like a more interesting artist, switching up his vocal approach in tandem with the unstable emotional arc of the track. When Melly asserts that he will “take the bitch out to Bahamas, let the ho eat at Benihana,” he delivers the line with such frantic energy that one really has no clue whether or not to take it as a romantic gesture or a disturbing threat. That kind of complexity is sorely missed elsewhere here.
Published as part of What Would Meek Do? | Issue 6