Kris Wu, Rich Brian, Joji, ’18’ | Track Review
Kris Wu, Rich Brian, Joji, Trippie Redd, and Baauer join forces for a stellar rap single, “18.” It’s well-conceived, well-performed, and well-produced.
“18” assembles a star-studded cast of young talent on one record. Attributed to Kris Wu, Rich Brian, and Joji, “18” is presumably lands on the debut album of Rich Brian (formerly Rich Chigga). Besides being led by a three-headed monster, “18” also features rapper Trippie Redd, and production work by Baauer – yes, the “Harlem Shake” dude.
The sound is mysterious from the start, led by a distinct, Oriental synth. It settles into a minor-key, hard-nosed, trap-percussion-anchored joint. Kris Wu gets ‘first blood,’ pop-rapping with some grit, capped off by the ferocious line, “I’m the one and only motherf*cker from the East.” He follows up his verse with the sung chorus. Rich Brian follows, with his deep-voiced, confident rhymes, including “God damn legit, told me that she liked my fit.”
Following the chorus, Joji leads the change of pace – part two of “18.” The switch-up is the crème de la crème. Joji sings moodily, much like the music that appears on his In Tongues EP. Trippie Redd contrasts the sound with aggressive, unapologetic rhymes:
“I’m just swerving, smoking on some dank / I’m just tryna fucking ease the pain / ‘Fore I blow my mind like Kurt Cobain.”
Joji ends things, in all his moody, vibin’ glory.
Ultimately, “18” is a winner. Splitting the record into two distinct parts was a great idea. Baauer delivers solid production work, while Kris Wu, Rich Brian, Joji, and Trippie Redd compel on their respective performances.
Kris Wu, Rich Brian, Joji • 18 (Ft. Trippie Redd & Baauer) – Single • EMPIRE • Release: 1.16.18
Photo Credit: EMPIRE