Oakland-based rapper and producer Mellay gives listeners a view of his internal battle with self-doubt, depression, and self-criticism with the help of smooth chords and a relatable, ear-catching delivery. Known for defying what many would consider “normal,” he gives us a glimpse into a world that is yet to be heard in the hip-hop realm.
As an Asian hip-hop artist who was raised in Hawaii and later moved to the Bay, Mellay has never been afraid to try something new. By mixing melodic hooks with catchy and innovative bars, he’s created a unique sound reminiscent of artists like Kid Cudi, Tyler the Creator, and the late Mac Miller. His sharp delivery, contrasted by catchy melodic hooks, mellow production, and an ability to be vulnerable set him apart. His unique ability to let his guard down, showing his flaws rather than hiding behind confidence, makes him relatable as he paves his own course in this art form.
“Voodoo” is a refreshing taste of vulnerability and rawness within the world of modern-day hip-hop. It gives Man On The Moon II vibes from the raspy vocals to the jazz-infused backing track, drawing listeners in with a sound that’s familiar but also intriguingly new. Quick-hitting bars are paired with confidently-toned vocals and underlined by sensibly thought-out lyrics to construct verses that are introspective and engaging. A slower and softer bridge grants lenient energy to the track in between the quicker verses, ushering in a sense of understanding for internal struggles. The outro continues the soft-spoken approach, taking on a sweeter instrumental soundscape that leaves listeners with a feeling of peace, even amongst all of the internal battle.