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The music genre of R&B has gone through a lot of changes over the years. Despite all those changes, there has always been one constant. From the OGs like India.Arie and Jill Scott to the present trailblazers like Jhene Aiko, the women artists have continued to carry the torch while putting their soulful bliss with each new era. During the height of the 90s R&B craze when we tuned into MTV and VH1 for the infectious TLC, Aliyah, and Brandy. Their emotion and rawness were building blocks to which they crafted their careers. In searching for that unique sound in the present day, neo-soul rapper/artist Rae.Dianz (pronounced like radiance) demands your attention.
Based out of Philadelphia (a staple in the R&B industry), Rae.Dianz is about as tough and gritty as a Philadelphian artist can get. The rapping is nothing short of sharpshooting enough to get her point across while the neo-soul side of things releases traces of pure radiance. Most of Rae.Dianz’s music is more of a journey through the inner depths of the human mind than what’s seen at face value. When it comes to rapping, Rae.Dianz effortlessly skips across the beat and melodies, providing sparks of MC Lyte or Eve. It’s when Rae.Dianz is projecting her neo-soul roots do we capture a rare breed.
Since Rae.Dianz’s 2019 single, “Alien Girl,” the artist has continued to bring the best of both worlds in the musical landscape. One of Rae.Dianz’s best performances come on her 90s beat rap-inspired single, “Rhapzodik.” A slight departure from the R&B side of things, the Philadelphia artist channels 90s hip hop flow to stake her claim as a polished lyricist. It’s something you would hear during a Philadelphia block party as the DJ mixing fades out. It’s a moment like this, throughout Rae.Dianz’s discography, that gives chaste to what has been lacking creativity in music.
In her latest EP, buochic, Rae.Dianz gives listeners a more well-defined and self-aware look into her psyche. Like all her previous music, Rae.Dianz opens up about mental health and pushes for more of it. On “Black Tea” featuring fellow Philadelphia artist Yazzie Mojo, Rae.Dianz takes coffeehouse folk and gives it a new look with some lo-fi rap. Keeping with the same tone, “Divine” cuts through for a quiet storm-like track only Al Woods could introduce. Pairing enlightenment lyrics with bass vocals allows for a more complete track while maintaining that honey sound.
It’s clear the cultural sound and historic music scene of Philadelphia has played a major role in Rae.Dianz’s music. Rarely have we seen an artist, so young but so knowledgeable in their space to bloom fully. Rae.Dianz is a breath of fresh summer air and a cool night in one. Rae.Dianz is a surefire addition to the Philadelphia rising stars.