Published Apr 03, 2019For the past several months, Harlem rapper Melii has been courted by labels (including Meek Mill's Dream Chaser Records) with the hopes that she'd be their next big star; the result has been a recent signing to Tory Lanez's One Umbrella Mob, in addition to a prior Interscope Records deal, and the sudden release of her debut project, phAses.
Self-described as a "rollercoaster of who Melii represents," the 14-track album blends rap and singing, as well as features from Lanez, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Odalys, to create a journey through the 22-year-old's life.
Melii sprinkles the album with honeyed deliveries, often putting a focus on sex and relationships ("Mister," "Before I"), but also makes way to highlight her Spanish upbringing and her life prior to fame and the jealousy that ensues thereafter, though phAses is not without its dance tracks and summertime vibes.
"Slow For Me," produced by Beatells, is peppered with a uptempo dance melody that finds Lanez in a comfortable place to make a hit, while A Boogie With da Hoodie finds a similar space to occupy on the jazz-lead and bass-heavy "HML."
While much of the album is rooted in softer melodic verses, Melli's spit-fire deliveries can be heard on "Gangsta Talk" and "Copy," the latter of which hints at the young rapper's effortless switches between English and Spanish, later exemplified on "Anime Girls."
"Thank God I was impatient, goin' hard, no hesitation," Melii closes on the introspective "Feel Me." While Melii still has a lengthy journey ahead of her to secure a legacy in New York's rap scene, she has the tools and the hunger, and there are many more phAses to come. (Rule #1 / Interscope)