Music has long been an expression for urban communities, and on the surface, it can be misinterpreted as something with a deeper meaning. Raina Simone, a Harlem-born, New Jersey-based artist and producer, hopes to highlight the genre’s meaning and resonance. As well as the opportunities it has created, with the release of her new EP, To My Hearts. To say the least, the NYC Drill era is one for the books, with the rise of Late Brooklyn native Pop Smoke bringing it to global attention – but it had been bubbling throughout the city long before his stardom. More than just a gorey, upbeat genre, this 5-track EP demonstrates the genre’s duality, with a classic Raina Simone twist.
“When it comes to drill music, it’s a raw reflection of what’s going on in the roughest of our neighborhoods. And although between the bass and hi hat patterns we’re telling our stories, many disregard the entirety of the story behind it. Instead of a call of action or investment to eradicate poverty and violence within our neighborhoods, the music industry is giving us monetary incentive to continue a cycle of violence and oppression through music, causing us to conform to our most negative stereotypes and showcasing such to the world on an international platform. “To My Hearts” is a project that speaks to the raw emotions behind drill music. It’s a project of love (conversations), loss (amen), and perseverance amidst hardship (make a way). As the drill market continues to grow and become further commercialized, I wanted to be sure that we’re still the ones leading the narratives and directly benefiting off of the commercialization of the genre. But in order to do so, it was necessary to push the envelope of the drill sound to encompass more than solely drill content, while still staying true to our stories and narratives.” — Raina Simone.
Overall, Raina Simone, a jack of all trades, the promising producer produced every track on her debut EP. Raina Simone’s sonic ear and lyrical ability will undoubtedly catapult her into the spotlight as one of the most memorable female emcees to date. Make sure to listen to To My Hearts here at Hip-HopVibe.com.