It’s no secret that melodic rap, thanks to artists like Travis Scott, Young Thug, and Rich Homie Quan, has become the most dominant form of hip-hop. For the last four years or so, the subgenre grew into the genre, with rappers often attempting to replicate more successful melody pushers to diminishing results. The kerfuffle around “mumble rap” never evolved into a discussion about this newer, more popular sound, probably because melodies drive radio, and artists like Juice WRLD have successfully blurred the line between melodic rap and singing in bold new ways. Outside of this longstanding bubble is RonSoCold, something of a singularity, who raps in melodies in a twisted way.
It’s hard to explain his breathless chant and how his lines all end on the same note. His beat choice is stellar and random, finding perky, vibrant video game-recalling special effects sprinkled over pummeling 808s that box you into a corner. His latest release, “Sharktale,” that picks you up and whisks you into a medieval, 2D-style dungeon crawler. This vast atmosphere underscores RonSoCold’s unique take on melody every time he resets his register and goes on another run. It’s something that you can sing in the shower guilt-free. —Trey Alston