Imagining Soko Matemai & Dreal Nova’s Emotional Rollercoaster RnB/Rap Album
It’s been three days since hip-hop artist Soko Matemai née Sharky and burgeoning RnB singer Dreal Nova showed off their musical chemistry when they debuted the smooth collab “Mine” on Valentine’s Day.
As a ‘90s baby (which means that I grew up on some R&B that wasn’t rappers harmonising or singers talking with a melody from their souls), and also a musical head who witnessed a perfect genre marriage of Rap and RnB in the ‘00s, the single made me feel some things I have not felt in a long time in modern musical landscape. I felt my lungs expanding, my skin glistening, my brows getting fuller, my teeth getting whiter, and the backs of my ears miraculously smelling like tropical fruit and good credit.
The choice to have Dreal Nova glide over the hook proved to be very fitting. He sings as if his words are baptised in power and passion. Soko Matemai, as usual, is spitting like his life depends on it. Flipping between two tones – sharp and cold, and sensual and smoky – the two made a song that is as sweet as caramel over Dj Krimz Beats’ hi-fi production and warm instrumentation, comprised of thrumming bass and tight snares. It is actually a sneaky whip banger that sound even better when turned up to super-high volumes, and though folks might wonder why you’re blasting a ballad at top volume, they kind of get it (if they’re over a certain age, anyway). Or maybe not.
Essentially, the collaboration deserves a Rap/RnB roundtable discussion or at least the same internet-breaking virality as any of Soko Matemai’s political rap songs. One thing is clear: collaborative projects of this kind need to happen more often. After all, when two worlds collide, you get the Best of Both Worlds.
With “Mine”, Soko Matemai successfully amplifies his established RnB-rap vibes, while Dreal presents himself as a nonesuch collaborator who can single-handedly hold it down with the rapper in a potential event that they want to make a rap-bluesy body of work. We can perfectly envision the two kicking it in the studio together…Dreal with a bluesy sound mixed with a mid-90s R&B vibe, and Soko delivering some purple-coloured love tributes over Krimz and Coded’s sound beams loaded with soulful samples. “Mine” is a grand and huge sounding record, and an album full of the two’s tracks is asking to be bellowed in stadiums around the country.
Also, it would be hilarious to hear Sharky rap about his love life in both vernacular and English while Dreal unknowingly eggs him on with an infectious chorus. An album or EP would amaze but more importantly, it would be an emotional roller coaster that any fan would gladly ride. Or we’d take a documentary of the album being made – that’d be classic in and of itself.
Whether it brings on the sensual feels or sparks a dose of nostalgia, the project would definitely deserve a spin on our playlist and we’d cold-bloodedly kill for it.
What must happen to get this body of work? Put up a petition? Oh…stop it!
Get a sonic taste of how such an album would sound like by checking out “Mine” below: