STYLE VS. SOUND: RYE RYE
by Jeremy Danté
from baltimore to billboard, it’s been a long time coming for ms. ryeisha berrain, affectionately known as rye rye. i’ve watched her shake that shit to the ground & twerk her way to the top- from being hailed as billboards ’21 under 21′ to her entrance into film as an actress. before nicki minaj or lady gaga, rye rye was taking meetings with industry heavy hitters & developing her style, both musically & fashionably. when it comes to over the top style, hood appeal & a rapid-release flow- rye rye is that bitch. very few artists showcase a true, individualized style & with rye rye she has developed a thorough sense of delivery. categorically considered electrohop, rye rye was an artist developed on the baltimore club scene. a native of baltimore, maryland, she started performing at 16 & quickly garnered attention from the industry after meeting DJ blaqstarr. it was through blaqstarr that rye rye was able to connect with musical & style impresario, M.I.A. it appears as though rye’s meeting with M.I.A. has allowed her the creative freedom, to be the artist she is, innately. between 2006 and 2007, rye connected with M.I.A. & power producer diplo, through blaqstarr & was asked to go on tour that year. still only a junior in high school, M.I.A. began to feature rye rye on remixes and other tracks. i remember the first feature i heard of rye rye’s, it was the verse she dropped on the remix to ‘paper planes’. that song was massive that summer & i heard the track on someone’s myspace profile, immediately following my discovery of the track, i was asking “oh, my god! who is that girl?”
after being signed to M.I.A.’s N.E.E.T. label through interscope, rye rye began recording her debut album. with noted performances, like her appearance at SXSW in 2010, rye rye has made a significant mark & continues to do so through her representation of individuality. what i love so much about rye rye is the amount of style put into the things she does. she has a clear image that is very distinct & unmatched in music. it’s not just the clothes she wears, but the energy she puts out & verses that she spits. as the second artist i have selected to feature for my on-going style vs. sound series, rye rye fits into the framework of this segment perfectly. when you see her & hear her, it’s consistent. it’s what i refer to as a visual sound; a sound so powerful that when you hear it, you also see it. i have a very clear vision for how i perceive women, whether in fashion or music & i love when women can successfully merge the two. rye rye, from her style to her lyrics- impacts you. a clear indication of a new wave in music, rye has been a standout in my mind both sonically & stylistically, for years. over time, i have seen her evolve more greatly in the spotlight. rye rye adds a new dimension for women in music, her approach in all forms is fearless. it’s that undeniable, irresistible attraction to her that truly makes her an even brighter star. with the release of her mixtape, “RYEot PowRR (2011) we were able to experience yet another expansion of the artist known as rye rye. outside her successful features on assorted soundtracks, EP’s or indie albums- rye rye has always added who she is as an artist to what she is involved with.
today marks the release date of rye rye’s debut album, “GO! POP! BANG!“. originally slated for a 2009 release, recording for the album began in early 2008, with rye rye’s mentor M.I.A. at her side every step of the way. the sound & overall image of the album from artwork to production is one that embodies the energy of the project’s title. with beats that go bang & a few flecks of pop for the mainstream; producers bangladesh, redone, play ‘n skillz, r3hab, so japan, mayru, christian rich, egyptian lover, blaqstarr & the neptunes have all made remarkable contributions. the album is refreshing in that, it creates a sound for an artist. that artist being rye rye, who oozes individuality so vividly that anything she touches is just an accent to who she is, creatively. standout tracks, in the order that they have been sequenced on the album are “holla holla”, “drop”, “rock off shake off” & “crazy bitch”. with the influence of her baltimore club music roots ever present, i love that the producers on the project act as amplification. it’s so sonically on-point to what we’ve come to know rye rye as; through lyrics, stuttering beats & psycho-sonic instrumentation. simply put, i like hood bitches & rye rye gives you that in your face energy that is so necessary for today’s musical scene. it’s not shy or held back, it’s high energy & definitive dance music. rye rye’s third single for the album, “boom boom”, which samples a 90’s club hit by the venga boys is currently climbing the dance billboard charts & it’s clear that there is not only a space for rye rye in the game; but a thirst for an artist of her caliber.
a perfect fit for this style collision with sound, ryeisha berrain is a muthafuckn star. the album boasts songs that have long been associated with rye’s musical catalog, including her infamous “shake to the ground” & the hard-edged “bang”. with features with other avant-garde artists like M.I.A. & swedish electro-queen robyn, as well as rappers tyga & akon- the album is a well rounded vision of dance music for the future. i support new forms of music that challenge the boundaries that have been put on the industry. the album successfully merges an indie edge while transcending with true pop potential; allowing gangstas & glittering girls to share the same dance floor. simply put, rye rye is the shit & her album is an emphasis of that logic.
this is an installment of the sound vs. style music feature series
click here to view past artists featured