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Album Review: 1999 by Rich Brian

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Brian Imanuel Suewarno, or more commonly known as Rich Brian, is an Indonesian singer/rapper and songwriter. He first came to fame with his single in 2016 titled Dat $tick. That was also when his name was still Rich Ch*gga. After slowly gaining traction, he released his debut album in 2018 titled Amen. I also reviewed his second album on my blog, The Sailor. Despite a bumpy 2020, Rich Brian has managed to release EP titled 1999.

The first track from the EP is Sometimes. The track starts out with a descending synth line, as well as some other electronic bell notes. It slowly builds on instrumentation, but it definitely dies down after the chorus. This is definitely a more light and reflection type track for Rich Brian. He takes a look at his life and his current situation in his music career. He either feels like making a lot of music or doing nothing at all. He also talks about some issues with some people not liking him, as well as relationship issues.

Don't Care switches it up to more of his rapping music, and also features some trap elements. Rich Brian almost sounds like KYLE on this track. Despite all the negativity going on in the world, this is an uplifting track from him. No matter what kind of things are going on, he doesn't care about it. He always tries to look at the good and positive things that are happening in the world, even if it's something small.

Long Run features some more twangy synth notes. This brings us back to Rich Brian's R&B singing at first. However, the track slowly twists back and forth between his rapping and singing. He kind of goes back and forth when it comes to the meaning of the track. At times he says he's stuck in the past, but at the same time, he tells people that he's growing and evolving over time. He also talks about how changes never change him.

When You Come Home really shows us the vulnerable side of Rich Brian. You can really hear the emotion and pain in his voice. The instrumentation is really simplistic, but it adds to the emotion running through the track. On this track, he seems to be talking about or talking to, a long lost friend from the past. Since he moved away from Indonesia, this person asks Rich Brian how his trip was and has a lot of questions for him.

DOA brings us back to the smooth production beats. It's also the shortest track on the album, just under three minutes in length. It also seems like the instrumentation from this track could be an 80s inspired track. The meaning of DOA stands for 'Dead on Arrival' which is a common term used for shipping items, usually from Amazon or eBay. However, it seems like it has a bit different meaning since he says that this person is too far away.

Love In My Pocket has some reverbed synths and a running bass line. It definitely has more of a funk groove going on at the beginning. This track is supposed to be for his girlfriend, Vanntey Heng, who was actually a fan of his music before they met. Rich Brian talks about getting chills when she's not by him. The second verse of the track talks about when they meet and how much she ended up meaning to him.

The last track from the EP is Sins. It starts out simple with just short staccato guitar notes in the background. It sounds similar to a track I've heard before, but I can't seem to think about it right now. However, this track, and the entire album, shows how Rich Brian has evolved from his early singles, to his debut, to his sophomore album, and now to an EP. It has only been four years, but he has changed a lot. The outro of the track might be his current girlfriend who I mentioned in the last track, Vanntey Heng.

Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: Don't Care, Long Run, DOA

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