The short intro is as impactful as it gets “And it breaks my heart to see you happy without me. I need you”, for it sets the crystal-clear foundation of a relationship we’re about to discover in the R for Romeo song by Vll feat. Krissy Wayward. It is a record that notably revives the narrative Rihanna and Eminem brought to the world with Love The Way You Lie 10 years ago, this time though, subtract the physical violence and pile up on the mental anguish. Shakespeare would be proud.
Albeit being fresh in the industry, Vll knows to get the audience on the edge of their seats just a few seconds in, going from unrequited love to feelings of rejection: “Do you love me/ Love me not?/ That’s my only question/ Do I see you as my woman/ Trying to flip the question/ It’s the way you make me feel/ Now I feel disgusted/ From the sh*t you ever did” – oof! If you think this is good, wait until the end of the song because you’ll be thinking about googling the artist to see who he’s talking about 😀 Seriously, this guy got undeniable storytelling talent. And it’s in rhymes. And it abides a fine flow. And it is predictable enough to be liked but also diversified enough to keep the surprise elements consistent. Long story short, you will get hooked.
Vll continues to rap conversationally, addressing the girl directly, implying that she might actually be the wife through the indirect hint of an eternal promise that’s been made between the two: “Now you claiming that I’m cheating/ F*ck them vows right?/ Can you bring me back to life/ With your love bites?” It’s most interesting how Vll manages to craft a character in our minds that we root for from start to end thanks to the vivid details he uses to describe the situation. And if you were convinced by now that she is the wrongdoer in this dynamic, PLOT TWIST! “Can’t you see?/ You the only one/ That’s meant for me?/ You the only one I see/ When it comes to me” now we ain’t sure no more if we’re supposed to hate her or love her because at the end of the verse he resumes his need and desire for her but you see, this is what a great artist like Vll does: leaves the audience in a mental clusterf*ck in order to force them to draw conclusions based off the most minutae details. It wouldn’t be art if it was simple.
The hook sung by Krissy Wayward is a sophisticated airy vocal composition aided by Vll’s ad-libs in the background: “Can you be real for once in your lifetime?/ You never cared for this heart of mine/ I catered for your wants and your needs/ You never did the same for me/ I don’t know how to feel for you right now/ Ain’t tryna deal witcha right now/ I’m just tryna keep It cool/ I’m just tryna keep it cool yea” Her voice adds a whole lot of weight to the message, making you sad even if you’re happily single. A great undeniable singer.
The second verse brings the toxicity of the relationship to a breaking point, teetering between what was and the nothingness that now resides between the two people: “Ion know about us/ Ion know about love/ and Ion know about trust/ If I feel like something missin/ I’ll be gone before dust”, “I still fought through the fire/ We connect then disconnect/ Like where the f*ck is the wire?”. I would like to hand out a virtual songwriter certificate to Vll for the fact that he kept it simple and didn’t deviate from the expected cadency. The syllables match the rhymes, the rhymes complete the flow, and the flow pours into massive appeal. Too many upcoming artists try too hard and fail spectacularly in pretending to be complex. Vll is actually years ahead of the competition if he sticks to his own formula.
R for Romeo is a record that adds immense value to Vll’s artistic credibility. With high-end production and a clean instrumental, it thrills with the emotional glamour found in the sadness and confusion created by a love that’s probably too deep.
Song Credits: Vll, Krissy Wayward – artists, songwriters; Ballonz – producer.
Review by Mariana Berdianu
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