It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a review on a project curated by a local artist. To be completely honest, the local artist I’ve been rocking with heavy have not dropped full blown projects to review, just singles that have had the city buzzin’. That alone makes me want to anticipate and look forward for what they have in store as a collective more. What draws me to up and coming artist is originality, presentation and sound. Wow me and keep me engaged with your talented presence.
Y.B.S. (Young Bagz and Young Scholar) is a dynamic duo from the 401 bringing that hip-hop and R&B collaboration. Being from Rhode Island, I’ve been around so many artist pursuing their artistic dreams. I was very hesitant to listening to any of the Y.B.S. songs because of presentation. Usually when I am put on to artist I like to keep an open mind leaving a bias opinion out of the picture, therefore, first impression is everything. First time seeing the group perform, was indeed a let down. Not quite sure if it was the sound system during the performance or what it was exactly but, I wasn’t really feeling and understanding the tunes much. One thing I could say is, stage presence was dope and they really hyped up the crowd with their energy. At that point I said to myself, hey maybe this was just a bad performance night for them.
When asked to review their up and coming EP ‘Carmen’ I took this as the perfect opportunity for them to redeem themselves. I could actually listen to a project in raw form, by myself, in my personal comfort zone. I immediately thought that the concept was super dope. The name of the EP itself drew me into it questioning, who is Carmen? Y.B.S. answered that question for me right away.
“Carmen is a joint E.P. between Y.B.S. and Phreddy JB.
This project creates a soulful aura, while providing a melodic storyline with thought provoking lyrics. Carmen is an abstract, an idea of that female counterpart one experiences in their lives. From beginning to end, each song guides and sets the mood to anyone’s situations. – Y.B.S.”
They start off the project with the first track “What’s Your Name” giving Carmen an introduction. It’s very clear that he is finally meeting the girl of his dreams and fantasizing about what he would be doing to her after actually bagging her. I must say, it was very catchy. They then transition into “Down 4 Me” where it looks likes things are getting serious as they slow it down. This track gives more of a R&B sound explaining that Carmen is very much so “ride or die”. The story line starts to get a little more intense where we all find out, if I’m not mistaken, he cannot pursue Carmen because he has a girl at home on “Girlfriend”. Plot thickens with the fourth track on the EP “Now She Gone” where he is caught cheating perhaps with Carmen. Style changes a bit on this song, leaving it more to the bars telling the story and leaving the singing on the hook and the chorus. Y.B.S. ends this storyline on a more positive note on “When I Think Of You” either reminiscing on what he had with Carmen or the Girlfriend, nonetheless, they took us on a wild journey mixed with a platonic and real life relationship.
The ‘Carmen’ EP goes both ways for me. From start to finish I was intrigued with the storyline keeping my attention with what was happening next with the female counterpart playing the protagonist. Like I said prior to listening, the concept was super dope, but, the rapping and singing combo just wasn’t there for me. What will indeed draw fans like myself to this group, is the idea rather than the technique, thats just me.
Look out for the Y.B.S. x Phreddy J.B. ‘Carmen’ EP!