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Yahnei “2:22”

I have been waiting for an album with this kind of dynamic now for quite a while. Toronto local artist Yahnei drops her first EP, 2:22. Too much anticipation and expectations, as this Ontario-based smooth rapper delivers a powerful, candid, and rather sultry performance here. 2:22 features six tracks that push the bounds of creative expression. Included in this package is the down-tempo, elegant debut single – Kickin’ It. This track is the only radio-friendly track on 2:22, hits all the notes of infectious hooks, meticulous signing, and clever phrasing throughout her melodic patterns. Kickin’ It is a track I would love to see hit mainstream commercial radio, as Yahnei shows a high degree of professionalism and maturity on this track. Other stand-out tracks are Been U, which is also a display of seductive, elegant vocals over clever beats, and Want This which features one of the coolest snare snap samples I have heard in some time. Although reviewing all six tracks is outside the scope of this review, Mandarin Cookiez, Motion, and Waitin’ wrap up the other tracks. Yahnei’s effective instrumentation throughout 2:22 keeps the momentum flowing in the right direction. With deep funky grooves from the bottom end, to the resonating kick samples, contrasted by synth melodies which fill the upper registers of the listening space, this album ticks the boxes of a solid debut offering.

I get a sort of lo-fi, hint of nostalgia feeling while listening to 2:22, and after multiple listens, I realize this is the intended reaction Yahnei is going for. However, this familiar tone is contrasted by a strict modern contemporary rhythmic feel that captures this artist’s diverse nature. 2:22 is a highly enjoyable EP with many subtle nuances. The production on 2:22 is well-executed, as those bottom-end frequencies play out crisp and clear, and with the allotted headroom, playback at high volumes is distortion-free and well-mixed. This debut offering clearly sets the tempo for a long career in the trap, RnB markets. While the beats are a down-tempo trap, the vocals are elegant and full with that marvelous RnB vibe. It is an EP that entertains her audience while challenging them at the same time. Again, this dynamic approach has been lacking on many of my RnB playlists as of late, so it truly is a welcome addition.

Link to the single:
https://open.spotify.com/album/1HmDnWS2MH4Q8IebRKs5Lo

Connect with YAHNEI :
https://linktr.ee/yahnei
https://www.instagram.com/yahneii/

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