Neither a singer or rapper, but a self-proclaimed R&B trapper, Neisha Neshae — a recently Roc Nation-signed artist — starts off her newest EP, Queenin’ with an emotional bang.
“I’m just trying to make it to a place where I love life,” Ms. Neshae reflects in the first track, “Love Life.” The young Detroit-bred artist’s background is one of hardship, but she brings her optimism and creative ethic to the forefront with this positive track reminiscent of blissful rhythms of an early, mid-00s R&B joint.
Queenin’ then ups the ante with “I’ma Go Crazy.” Listeners who figured the positive bop was her sound will have to reevaluate things, as catchy and unique vibes dominate the production. The record chronicles an R&B storyline of seeking revenge on an unfaithful man expressed through a confident, heavy trap lens and should surprise no one it’s her Spotify streaming jewel.
After the fire dual opening tracks, the EP tries a different direction but also takes a dip in focus. Regardless of how well “Killa” and “Bossin” may be produced, the heavily Rihanna-influenced sounds come off as trite. Hearing “Call 9-1-1, it’s been an accident” on “Killa” only reminded me of an almost identical verse from Rih on “No Love Allowed.” On “Bossin,” the same formula of Rih’s style and delivery takes presence, but manages a slightly stronger performance than “Killa;” seeing there are more moments of Neisha’s own R&B trap character in the song.
Having a similar style to Rihanna isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when done in a way that doesn’t offer the audience anything new leads the listener to draw comparisons that are negative compared to the original inspiration. The difference or decrease in Neisha’s energy, interestingness of production, and overall inexperience glares. Her strengths get placed back on the forefront on “White Sticks,” which revisit Neisha’s trap sensibilities. While she does noticeably pay homage to Future with the commonplace Kill Bill siren and “fuckin up some commas,” she still has her own flow and flavor in this track and it evokes an intoxicating and attractive energy.
When adhering to her own individuality Neisha’s talent shines the brightest. While it’s inevitable the world will hear a lot more noise from this Roc Nation rookie, hopefully, Ms. Neshae’s debut album will go full-speed ahead in the direction that will make her stand out from the pack.