3B Rich is getting a lot of hype in and outside of their local scene right now, and when listening to their new single “Slow Twerkin’,” it makes plenty of sense why. While not ascribing to the framework of hip-hop entirely, there’s definitely a throwback element to their music that allows for their agile brand of R&B to sound all the fresher. Take into account their complete lack of pretentiousness and “Slow Twerkin’” isn’t just a good debut single, but a bar-raising performance from a group on the verge of really making it big.
Creatively, you can tell when a band has been thrown together to make a quick buck or just cashing in on a popular trend, and it’s clear from the start of this song that 3B Rich are not among these crews. Their chemistry shows us that they’ve been playing together for a minute, but more pressingly, it also indicates that they’ve got a natural aptitude for this sort of an artistic setup, which is not true of every talented performer – let alone three sharing the same studio. If they can make this last, they’re probably going to produce content that pushes themselves and each other more than the status quo calls for.
The percussion doesn’t just form the groove in this piece; it outright shapes the emotional core of the lyrics, which is typically a role reserved for the melodic instrumentation over anything physical in the mix. The bass is actually rather minimalistic for the tempo, but I don’t see where making it any grander would have done anything for the track compositionally, especially being that we’ve got three equally gifted vocalists cutting up the top of the mix as dominantly as they are. Less is more, and the saying definitely applies here.
The lyrical dynamics in “Slow Twerkin’” foster a lot of vitality that would have been thoroughly muted were 3B Rich a bit more predictable with the verses, and while the beat seems to clutter the words in a couple of spots towards the beginning of the track, I think the mashup of instrumentation and vocals was essential to setting off the energy at the start of the song. There are different ways to utilize tension in a pop single, but this is a rare case where tension isn’t just a catalyst for catharsis, but the very center of the performance itself.
I will be looking out for more content from 3B Rich as they find their way into the mainstream side of R&B, and although the underground is exploding with credible songwriters and performers this year, I think what this group has in “Slow Twerkin’” should be enough to set aside their style from that of the masses. Don’t get me wrong – they’re not rebelling against trends towards a more melodic strain of hip-hop than we’ve ever heard before, but if you’re under the impression that this trio is going to do business the same way their rivals do, you’d better think again.
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