Album cover courtesy of Ronny J
Review by Jack Kelly
If you’re interested in the inception of this biweekly column, by all means read on. If you’re just here to see what bangs, skip all this yaya.
Quick disclaimer – I’m a big album guy. Nothing I appreciate more than an artist who grinded and put in the hours to drop something with replay value as a whole. That being said, I can probably count on my hands every big artist whose albums I come back to again and again.
The digitization of music has fundamentally changed the way we consume it. Gone are the days where mainstream music consumers listen to albums in their entirety. The changes came gradually, moving from skipping to your favorite songs on cassette players to burning CDs of your favorite songs and now to the era of music streaming. With millions of songs at your fingertips, both new and old artists entering into mainstream music often have only a minute to engage the listener enough to add it to their streaming playlists. Take Migos’ recent album, Culture II, for example: Culture II runs an hour and 45 minutes, and frankly I, as a casual Migos fan, am not going to give them that time of day. The last song, “Culture National Anthem,” runs five minutes long, and the first two minutes – or, at least, the two minutes I got through before turning it off – are just Quavo singing the word “culture” in a vaguely melodic way. Still, I knew I was going to hear new Migos at parties and with friends, so I gave each song a chance to find out what bangs and what doesn’t. In an effort to save my time so I could go back to binging The Story of OJ on Netflix, I listened to each song briefly and added it to my library if it had potential. That is what ultimately led me to this idea. At its core, this series of columns attempts to satirize the depressing reality of music consumption today while also answering the fundamental question: does it bang?
The rules of “What Bangs?” are simple: each song gets a minimum of 30 seconds to bang – or get me so hype that I forget I’m supposed to be writing this column – and if it fails, on to the next. Only exception being if there are notable features in which case, I’ll skip to their part for an attempt at redemption. After each song, I’ll spew off my raw, uncut first take.
Alright, thanks for reading that brick. For week 1, we’re gonna give Ronny J’s mixtape OMGRONNY a look. The only things I really know about Ronny J is he’s got that song with “cash me outside” girl, loves a muddy low end in his tracks, and I can’t see his name without squealing his producer tag, OMG RONNY. Not expecting much, but let’s give his noise a chance.
1. Thriller (Forever) [feat. Ski Mask the Slump God]
This is TERRIBLE. What kind of hook is this! Skipping to Ski Mask’s verse. Didn’t bring the noise, either. Who the hell is telling Ronny J to put that song first!
2. One Time (feat. Smokepurpp)
Alright, I kinda vibe with this one. Beat is DUMB simple and hook sounds like something from an uninspired mumble rapper, but somehow I don’t hate how Smokepurpp steals XXX’s flow from Look at Me in the first verse. No replay value for me but I see you RONNY.
TERRIBLE name. Reminds me too much of 222+444 from Luv is Rage 2, so its already working with an 0-2 count. Despite the name, this is DOPE. Doesn’t bang but the Travis Scott-esque vocals, crunchy kick, and manipulated synth does it for me. Song you’d want to put on when you’ve been in the car with your crew for a while and no one is paying attention to the music anymore
4. Glacier (feat. Denzel Curry)
High cut synth to open always gets me going. This man ANGRY.
5. Costa Rica (feat. Ski Mask the Slump God)
This man knows how to roll his Rs! I took Spanish for 6 years and can’t say the same. Favorite song so far. 100% saucing this on a pregame playlist.
6. Fiji Island (feat. Fat Nick)
I don’t know who Fat Nick is, but there is just no chance he isn’t electric. Not a notable feature, but I’m giving this man a LOOK regardless of how this track is.
Intro had me off but then it cuts and builds into a healthy gated synth. Ronny J LOVES the triangle in this one. Whoever mixed Fat Nick’s vocals needs to RELAX. I’m off.
7. Snakes (feat. Wifiisfuneral)
MUDDY low end. OMGRONNY. I just can’t BELIEVE someone sat in the studio with Ronny and told him they enjoyed this. Wifiisfuneral sounds like a young, hungry Childish Gambino. Don’t hate his sound.
This song’s only a minute and a half, but I can’t even give it 10 seconds. Bruh.
9. Trauma (feat. Nell and Danny Towers)
When did mumble rap get so angsty?
10. Houston (feat. Denzel Curry)
This sounds like something Wario would make if he had a Ronny J 808 sample pack.
11. Banded Up (feat. XXXTENTACION)
Hook is forced at the beginning but sounds better at the end. XXX just made a punchline about Billy Mays and ejaculation.. Outrageous!
BANGS just for XXX’s energy
Overall: 2/11 songs bang. For the sabermetricians, that’s ~18% bang rating. Truthfully, none of the songs really bring the noise for me, but Ronny J’s tag is so outrageous that I had to give him a break it when I could.