Black Jewish rapper Y-Love returns this month with a new EP “See Me,” a six-track listen produced by Diwon. Taking an expansive global music approach, Y-Love blends various elements of Middle Eastern, Caribbean, African, and American music in his hip hop potpourri.
Opener “The Takeover” sports a heavy reggae flavor enhanced by guest TJ di Hitmaker, a Jamaican dancehall toaster. Y-Love displays a nimble flow but unimpressive lyricism over the exceedingly minimalist production. “Move On” featuring DeScribe is a weak club track with uninspired verses.
Although Y-Love’s unique background would on paper breed a compelling rap formula, “See Me” is plagued by bland, lifeless production, tracks aiming for the club and dance floor, and feeble attempts by Y-Love to inject too much swagger into his rhymes. Between weak punchlines (“My flow’s always on like Beyonce’s weave”) and boring braggadocio Y-Love offers little to recommend himself besides his quick tongue. The Ido Z collaboration “See Me” is a staticky, abrasive club track, and although “Boom Selecta” features Y-Love’s most impressive vocal performance, the guests and production don’t match. The best song is “This Is Unity,” which has a lively Middle Eastern rhythm and instrumentals.
Despite traces of world music, most of “See Me” falls into the category of insipid club music. If Y-Love could channel more “This Is Unity” and “Boom Selecta” with less “Move On” and “See Me,” then he would likely have a product that would appeal to listeners across oceans and cultures. Until then feel free to skip “See Me” or just spring for the highlights.