The London singer-songwriter RAY BLK was the first unsigned artist to win the BBC Sound of prize in 2017, a prize won previously by Years and Years, HAIM and most recently Jack Garratt. RAY BLK, or Rita Ekwere, combines hip-hop lyrics with neo-soul and R&B. She released her latest single ‘Doing Me’ last Friday and I will review it.
First of all, the instrumental of the track is brilliant, I would listen to it without the vocals easily, with the synths and the repeated drum beats. The vocals are good, but the lyrics mean a lot more than the song tends to put across. She spouts lines such as, ‘My dressing is expression so don’t judge me by my clothes’. This is a point about her appearance and how modern society tends to tell people what to wear, and how some people feel angry about it as they cannot express themselves without being frowned upon.
As far as the musical ability goes, there is nothing wrong with it at all. She obviously can sing, very well, and rap, very well too. Female UK rappers are coming out of the underground scene and into the mainstream such as Lady Leshurr and Nadia Rose, which is brilliant as I believe the rap scene needs balance in gender. The lyrics are angry, but not a full on angriness, which we heard earlier this week with Wolf Alice’s ‘Yuk Foo’.
Overall, the track is fine. The tune is such stuff of earworm quality, but the lyrics are a bit of a grumble. If there was an award for the highest number of different items of clothing mentioned in a song, this would win for this year at least. The song has the ‘Be Yourself’ message, but I’m not entirely sure it works as one piece of art.
6/10 for the awesome tune, but the lyrics mean too much to be in a song like this. I urge you to read the lyrics because they’re great.