Not published on the front end due to a lack of photos, excerpt, tags, featured image, and overall proofreading.
My initial thoughts on the Rod Wave album were clouded by excitement and joy as our wait had finally come to an end. I had been waiting for the album SoulFly for a few months and was just happy all the anticipation and waiting was over. But I did enjoy the album tracks 1- 19 the album was 57 minutes long and it was emotionally healing. There are many memes all over the internet you can find using the #Soulfly. The reviews from others show the album to be a hit with the high levels of anticipation coming for good reason. This is also evident in the numbers of units sold.
Rod Wave is projected to sell 150 thousand units in only the first week of the album’s release.
While debuting at number 1 across all media streaming platforms. He was number 1 trending on YouTube for his hit song “Tombstone”. Which has hit 10 million views on YouTube in just 5 days. The other 18 songs are steadily gaining streams at impressive rates themselves another hit song from the album is “street runner” it has hit 16 million streams on YouTube alone in a matter of 2 weeks. This stresses just how popular Rod wave has become.
Millions of people were waiting on this album and it shows. Rod Wave seems to grow more and more famous with every song and for someone who does not like the spotlight often describing himself as shy must be a difficult adjustment for the rapper.
Growing up in St Petersburg Florida, Rod Wave was born as Rodarius Green. We were actually born in the same city and grew up zoned for the same high school Lakewood. Understanding his past will give a lot of insight on the pain and emotion he puts into his music. St Pete is a rough area with lots of poverty stricken communities and crime rates are high. Growing up in this kind of environment definitely had a major impact on him. He was often kicked out of his mother’s house; his father was in jail for most of his youth which caused him to think he needed to grow up fast and be the man of the house at a young age. This led him on a path to take risks to bring money into the household and he was arrested multiple times and even put on house arrest.
Rod Wave was recently featured on The Breakfast Club, a talk show interviewing artists and famous people to learn more about them. A rare public occurrence for Rod wave, He was asked who influenced him in the music scene and why did he get into the rap game. He went on to say Kodak Black gave him the confidence and awareness that yes, he could get out there and make music and create hits and be accepted for who he is. He credits Kodak Black his father who gifted him a microphone and his brother who gifted him a computer so he could actually record his work.
He later shouts out Ed Sheeran crediting him for the singing part of his flow and music. Kodak Black and Ed Sheeran may seem a bit far apart on the musical spectrum but if you listen to both of them and then listen to Rod Wave you can hear the similarities between the two speaking of rough upbringings. This led Kodak Black to recently go to twitter to compliment Rod Wave on his music career so far. Rod Wave recently got in touch with both Kodak and Ed Sheeran and are working on a collab that Rod Wave is very proud of.
Rod Wave has a unique style and most of his fans like that most about him he doesn’t rap about things most other artists talk about in their songs. He takes his real life situations and problems and throws them into his songs. In the music video for his hit song Tombstone a young black boy is growing up in an abusive household that is often visible in poverty stricken communities. He highlights this as an issue in his music video and also takes a shot at highlighting police brutality as the young boy is shot in the back by a police officer and falls to his death. After multiple run ins with the Law and a father and uncle who served a lot of time in prison this feels like a personal thing for Rod wave.
In the album SoulFly rod wave wants to talk to the audience’s soul. With songs like “Don’t forget” he describes trials and tribulation of his youth while thanking god for allowing him to make it to where he is now. In the song “Gone till November” he states “ I was lost as a teen can’t believe that I made it out”. He went through a lot of hard times and often thought there was no way out of poverty but was saved by his voice. His voice is powerful and inviting to the ear he doesn’t take kindly to nonsense or attacks at his character evident in his song “Moving On” he gets on Wendy Williams for trying to tear down a fellow member of the black community telling her to keep his name out of her mentions. He switches his vocal delivery to show a tougher more intense side separate from his melodic singing to make a statement.
Many people dealing with sadness and depression find his music and this mixtape healing or use it as therapy. His lyrics let you know that you are not alone in this world with your problems. Other people including a rich and famous artist has been there and felt pain before. I myself used his music to get me through tough times when things in life were not going my way, so I can see the connection there. Overall, I grade the album SoulFly an 8/10. To me it wasn’t Rod waves best project but it was a very good album that I can listen too with no skips. The album connects me with my feelings and emotions to work harder because hard times don’t last. The song richer makes me want to work harder so I can elevate and own things i’ve always wanted. I use his music as motivation to remind me that nothing can hold you down unless you let it. I feel a lot from Rod Waves music and I hope a deluxe version of the album will be released soon although there has been no indications or hinting of it, I would like to hear more.
His music always leaves me in my thoughts and wanting something more. I appreciate the level of artistry he puts into all of his music. The effort put into the album did not go unnoticed and millions of fans are giving positive reviews. I feel like this album may put up the best numbers from all the hype surrounding its release and the overall quality of the album the beats seem to match perfectly with his voice and tone over the songs which allow fans to just listen to the same songs on repeat over and over. With his singing and rapping tied in together Rod Wave shows how versatile he is on the album and It’s the changeup that I appreciate the most in his music. It’s different he doesn’t sound like every other artist or rapper that just talks about doing the same things or living a lifestyle normal people cannot relate too and that is why I think Rod Wave fans feel so strongly about his music.
This piece is part of the on-going series “The Social and Political Commentary of Music Reviews,” which is part of an Alternative Journalism course at Tulane University taught by Dr. Christine Capetola.