Sometimes, listening to contemporary R&B can be an exhaustive series of tracing the influence of one artist’s sound back to the work of another artist. In a world of standouts like FKA twigs, The Weeknd, Miguel, Jeremih, Drake, and more, it can be easy to forget few artists start out with a definable sound that sets them apart from comparable artists. Predictably enough, this is the case with Toronto upstart JAHKOY, whose new track, “Odd Future,” debuted over the weekend over at Apple Music on OVOSOUND Radio.
This 5-minute ballad is a two-parter, beginning as a solemn, depressed R&B cut and nicely transitioning into an impassioned hip-hop verse. I really enjoy the production on this track. It’s got an atmospheric vibe that takes me back to some of Clams Casino’s early music, and it nicely fits to JAHKOY’s clean vocals as well as his rapped verse.
People who are familiar with Drake won’t be surprised or necessarily enthused by “Odd Future,” a song that is more sonically exciting than lyrically creative. There’s a mention of preferring the turn-up to sobriety, a lamentably short relationship, and the dangers of letting one’s personal struggle impede their success.
JAHKOY seems intent on turning over a new leaf with this song, but unfortunately it doesn’t sound like it. There’s nothing about this track that really sticks with me, and I find JAHKOY’s vocal performance to be technically adequate but mostly drab. People who get easily caught up in trends may find something about this song worth loving the same way people tend to flock to fellow Canadian copy-Drakes Bryson Tiller and Tory Lanez. JAHKOY is intent on cashing in on this sound. It might work with some, but until he focuses his energy on memorable tunes, a stronger presence on the track, and letting the mainstream world know why we should be embracing him, JAHKOY won’t be ascending to Drake status any time soon.
Check it out right here, on Soundcloud!
Jakob Ross is Rainy Dawg Radio’s 2015-2016 Music Director.