Album of the Day: Jasmin Rhia – A Whole New World

Posted by Greg on Mar 22, 2021 in Music |

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We’re still gushing from our first SXSW experience (have you not noticed?). But the one thing we’re most stoked on is the contacts we have made. One such contact is Atlanta’s Jasmin Rhia. To date she is a hip-hop artist, record producer, violinist, DJ and mental health activist. Being that I am married to a violinist and am a mental health activist myself there was lots to engage here. Though hip-hop is a genre that we don’t follow or actively engage with, we’re not one to turn down a chance to expand our horizons.

Her latest mixtape A Whole New World is a bold, brash and deeply inspired work that has us buzzing like woah. Her flow as a hip-hop artist is strong and her beats are haunting, ethereal and entrancing. Yet it is her work on the violin that gives this mixtape so much texture, grandeur and sonic density.

The mixtape is divided into two parts. The first half opens with a gorgeous violin instrumental before Rhia unravels her thoughts on COVID-19 in “Plandemic.” On the heels of that call to arms is “Me, Myself and I” a hypnotic anthem that embraces femininity, power and race in a gorgeous cocktail that demands repeated spins. If we’re looking for chart success her most commercial works of the first act are probably “Had Enough” and “King of the Jungle,” both of which have hooks for days. The former is short (120 seconds) while the latter features a star-making cameo from AD the Artist and a hook that is a definitive earworm.

After a 30-second interlude featuring Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” Rhia segues into the second act of A Whole New World. She tackles same sex attraction on “My Baby” and the vibe is languid, hazy and deeply Atlantan. “Ride or Die” follows next and the Timbaland-produced banger is tropical, lively and most assuredly destined for late-night club success. Penultimate cut “Jack” samples Ray Charles’ ubiquitous hit “Hit the Road Jack” and allows Rhia to bob and weave over a bed of samples, loops, bleeps and blips. While it is arguably chaotic that very well might just be the point.

The mixtape ends with “IDGAF” which once again features AD the Artist. Once again returning to the halcyon pop heights of “King of the Jungle” this is a surefire crowd-pleaser and one that demands larger stages, magazine covers and commercial acclaim. Her flow to this point has been admirable but on “IDGAF” it is straight lava fire. Hot damn she is fierce. And that hook, dang. As the title suggests “IDGAF” is an open-hearted look at living a care-free life.

While she playfully darts around the F word throughout the entire song, it is worth noting that profanity has been a relative constant throughout the mixtape. While we’re never fond of profanity we do understand that for some it is an example of artistic freedom and creativity and in hip-hop it just might come with the territory. That being written we cannot deny the song’s crazy good hook and sterling production. If there’s one song you listen to from A Whole New World you darn well better make sure it is “IDGAF.”

Rhia who claims both Atlanta and Orlando as her hometown has crafted a brief, brilliant and deeply rewarding work. One thing’s for certain we’re most definitely eager to what she does next.

The tracklist is below:

1. Intro, produced by Jasmin Rhia 0:40
2. Plandemic, produced by Sonny Digital + Frank Dukes 2:14
3. Me, Myself and I, produced by A. Chal + Phil Good Music 2:56
4. Had Enough, produced by TM88, produced by Jasmin Rhia 2:09
5. King of the Jungle-features AD The Artist 4;00
6. Is This Love Interlude 0:28
7. My Baby, produced by 30 Roc 2:29
8. Ride or Die, produced by Timbaland 2:33
9. Jack featuring Dre Jon, production unknown 3:26
0. IDGAF featuring AD the Artist, produced by SupMarioBeatz 4:51

Audio engineers: Primo + Floydie

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