PnB Rock grew to stardom in 2015 with the release of RNB3, arguably still his best project to date. The Philadelphia native’s defining feature being his vocals, his is instantly recognizable on the slew of features he’s done over the years. Despite this uniqueness, the quality of his projects has dwindled. While each album since RNB3 has its own hits, they vary in quality. Songs like “Selfish” are so obviously him, yet songs like his more recent hit “MIDDLE CHILD” can be mistaken for nearly anyone in the current scene.
On this new EP, he returns more to his own form. It starts with “Eyes Open” featuring Lil Baby & Young Thug, with these beautiful backing vocals on the chorus that elevate it to another level. Part of what made his early material so great was not the generic flexing, but his own story weaved into the tracks. This track thankfully provides that material. The addition of Lil Baby & Young Thug makes this a certified hit too.
Despite the epic opening, the EP moves to a more generic sound on “You Got Me.” This kind of material is exactly what made him fall off of a lot of people’s radars. It is a formula that has provided him countless hits, but it’s been a tired formula at this point. The production on this track, and many others on this EP, is admittedly a lot better than his last two releases.
Songs like “ZaZa” & “That’s My Bad” are reminiscent of the hits that made him a cut above everyone else. Meanwhile “High” is an ethereal song about drug use and relationships, a type of song that seems to have oddly been missing from 2021. While the production on these tracks isn’t that booming trap production that was provided by acts like Sonny Digital on RNB3, it’s his best produced since Goin Thru the Motions. The lack of features throughout the project let him flex his vocals too.
PnB’s talents are always welcome, truly just due to there being no one else like him. His voice is what made him special, to hear this EP compared to his last two albums is night and day. While the era of super hard trap bangers seems to be over for him since RNB3, the sound he perfected on Goin Thru the Motions is still here. As enjoyable as this EP might have been, it is a bit disappointing at the six-track length. PnB needs to deliver a full project of sounds like this, because while the generic sound helps him coast in the industry, he easily could have been one of the best go-to mainstream singers. Unfortunately, it seems like we might have to wait for a proper album to see if that happens.
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