Alternative journalism spring 2021: Rod Wave music review

Radarius Marcel Green, known as Rod Wave, is a rapper, singer and songwriter from St. Petersburg, FL. Rod Wave is known for his strong voice. In 2019 the song “Heart on Ice”, went viral across the world on all different platforms. The past three years Rod Wave came out with two debut albums that were top 10. The label he signed with didn’t want to let him drop it for whatever reason. Rod Wave’s last album “Pray 4 Love” was released on April 3,2020. If you go back a count from then to now it has been 11 months since he dropped another album. About two weeks ago he went to Instagram and posted that he will be coming out with his next album “SoulFly” on March 26,2021. Me being a fan, I went on and reposted it to my story so others that follow me can see it.

Most other rappers talk about a lot of violence which I think makes young kids think differently. Nowadays young kids think they are gangsters because they think what they say in the song is all good but it’s not. Before Rod Wave started being famous, he was in the streets and was making bad choices. Rod Wave explained that music saved his life, giving him an opportunity to share the hardships he went through and becoming a stronger person from his experience. A lot of his subject in his music is about love, pain,and everyday struggles. For example in the song “How The Game Go”, he raps Remember when I told ’em I was him, they all was laughing and now done millions and got brand new whips and brand new mansions Now I walk ’round this bitch, my neck and wrist be full of carats

I just was homeless, sleeping on my cousin blow-up mattress

That shit was tragic, it be tragic how these fuck niggas be hatin’ and shit

But I was made for this shit, yeah

In this song he is rapping about how he had nothing while growing up but now he’s a millionaire now. When listening to this song you can feel all the pain he went through as he raps about it. He’s my favorite rapper right now. I will choose him over anybody. The music he makes is about real life expressing how he feels in each song. In some songs he’s sad and in others he is happy.

I hear a lot of people around the world say that the music Rod Wave music helps them through hard times. It affected people menatlly and physically. For Rod Wave during the time he couldn’t perform he chilled, and stayed positive. Since there weren’t any concerts any time soon for a while Rod Wave went on live and talked to his fans. Rod Wave had to find a way to get some of his music out since Covid-19 interrupted his release date. In my opinion I would say this is the best album that came out since the Covid-era. Rod Wave enacts black masculinity by focusing on helping problems  that are overlooked, such as the generational cycle of violence that ensnares thousands of black men and women everyday. The point Rod Wave makes is most clear with this kine “Where I come from, it’s a race to eighteen”. Knowing that the Covid-19 messed his tour up and his music he had to make a quick turn around for his fans. How would it be not hearing a new song or a performance in eight months. Every person who listens to Rod Wave knows that he has been supposed to drop a new album. He released one of the songs on his album called “Street Runner” which I actually like. His singing voice is gentle and yearning. All his lyrics he has in his song describes what he has been through and how he grew up. For example, “The moments of inspiration for this song were just like, I was just thinking about stuff that I’d been through, you know what I’m saying? Like, I had a conversation with my mom, we were talking about like, growing up I never really had any real friends that I hung around with, or like I kicked it with every day. And then we ended up going to the studio that same night, and it just came out, like I’m really popular now, but I’ve always been a loner my whole life.” For the “Street runner” song he raps about missing his loved one due to spending time on the road. In the song “Gone Til November” he mentions, “On the road, halfway home Sorry my friend, I don’t wanna be alone again So I, I’ll be gone ‘til November, go in and mark your calendar Phone keep ringing heart keep breaking”.  He reflects on his past and how he is taking himself higher and higher. I also forgot to mention that he does not put anybody on his songs because most people don’t relate to his sadness. In the last three years he only had two features on his song and they were Kevin Gates And Polo G. That right there you all about Rod Wave. He’s a person that doesn’t want anybody relying on him or him relying on others. Everything he does is with the people he grew up with or family members. For example, in one of his interviews he talked about how rappers get big body guards but most of them are just big for nothing.

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.


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