It’s alright if you haven’t quite heard of Rob Roy. He’s not a household name by any means and isn’t one of the most established artists in the underground realm. His style is jittery, spastic and at times unsettling, but it works. Roy hails from Jacksonville, FL, something he’s pushed several times in his music, but has been been in LA working with several different artists and producers.
Roy is a unique talent that has been cosigned by the likes of Kanye West and experienced a small bit of fame back in 2009 when he released “Carmencita”. His unique voice that blends a nice element of bass, EDM and hip hop results in what can best be described as experimental gone right. The major hangup about Roy is that he doesn’t release new music often for various reasons. His last release, Le Tigre Blanc was put out on iTunes in 2012 and before that “King Warrior Magician Lover” in 2008 was only streamable on a few sites. Even with the exclusivity at a time where streaming wasn’t really a thing, KWML still garnered a decent amount of attention through outlets like MTV and the aforementioned Kanye West. “Fur In My Cap” was featured on Entourage and Saints Row 3 while “Carmencita” got heavy circulation on MTVU.
Rob Roy’s latest release, “Johnny” takes a slightly different path by mixing in trap-style beats and a bit of electronic in between. It kind of works. While I’m not all the way here for “Lemonhead”, the rest of the project really stands out. My surefire favorite is “Chip” which features a sample of Televangelist Dr. Gene Scott counting money.
Cookin’ in the kitchen to dip in the devil’s pie
Whip it til I injure my wrist up, now get the ice
Heaven is a 7 11, now get the dice
Rob Roy has a way with words that a lot of artists just don’t have the knack for. In a day and age where lyricism and wordplay take a backseat Roy is able to spin words like no other but be entertaining while doing so. That’s really hard to do, especially on trap beats because it’s so tempting to just setup punchline after punchline.
Oh I’m catching the spirit at the pulpit
Can I get a witness and a pool stick?
My neighbor say the 808 a nuisance
See, I’m just a bastard that can rap blues—
At least I know exactly where the roof is
Like Jodeci if they released on Ruthless
There’s really not much else to talk about when it comes to the project. It’s only four songs long, but it’s worth the time to listen to this weekend. It can be found on Spotify for the oh-so-affordable Free.99. Hopefully it inspires you to listen to a few of his other projects (go check out the link above to listen to King Warrior Magician Lover).
Least Favorite Track: