What an incredible Mini Album by the Talented Singer, Songwriter and Rapper from South London RAY BLK. Ray has outdone herself with an incredible body of work, as a self-proclaimed R&B fanatic, who enjoys the rhythms, flows and most improbably the message in its entirety, I am extremely Proud of DURT.
A true classic album from our very OWN, an R&B Gem that should be appreciated. From a lyrical point of view, to range within vocals and careful selection in collaborating! DURT is a well put together and well thought after production.
We thought a track by track review of the project is necessary because there was a lot to talk about this mini album and why its one of the more pure and relatable that have come out this year!
The first song from Durt is titled BABY GIRLZ . A classic soulful sound with a romantic feel, accompanied by a melodic beat from the sounds of the piano playing whilst Ray BLK sings her message out loud and clear. Towards the end you get to hear her Rap some deep lyrics with conviction!
Baby Girlz is a song with a well-rounded message, it reminds me of moments in Secondary School, a time when I was being careless, enjoying life, free from responsibilities and stress. But on the flipside there were young girls who grew up too fast, engaging in sex at a very early age and getting pregnant by some young immature boys who themselves had no clue about being responsible, let alone being responsible for another human being.
Described immaculately by Ray BLK, she paints the picture of certain young girls who unfortunately fell victim to this subject ‘Keisha a light skin girl with curly hair very beautiful who was very popular in school, very popular amongst the boys and the teachers in school, she got excited by the attention and got gassed, she had all the guys on rotate which lead to her pregnancy too late to get rid of the baby the father was nowhere to be seen’
There are moments in the song when you hear ‘We don’t stop’ which is a classic sample from early 90’s Hip Hop originating from New York.
The informational and knowledge spewed by Ray BLK towards the end of the song is one that should be heard! She speaks about our generation, from socially conscious issues to government bias and the neglect of those who have grown up in a working class environment.
Lyrically, this song is very real and raw, if inhaled correctly it should touch your inner core. Subjects such as responsibility, accountability, ownership, knowledge and awareness of self is what I picked up.
The Chorus sums up the entire song very well, the lyrics go as follows ‘Baby girl has a baby girl, coming into this crazy girl, baby girl better grow on up, cause a baby boy don’t give a fuck’
The song 50/50 is a song that is extremely relatable to both men and women. It is the second song from DURT. My personal favourite from the Mini Album. Everything from the beat to the message and overall vibe caught my spirit.
50/50 is very Emotive, from Ray’s voice to her words. Her voice is seductive yet fragile, the tone of the song is dramatic and engaging. A lost soul in love but searching for equality from a love that offers only half of what is given. Ray BLK shows vocal range in 50/50, from the high-pitches to the low soft and complex variations.
The Chorus samples a popular classic ‘Love me love Say that you Love me, Call me Call me, You never do’. When those words are sung by Ray, you can feel the raw emotions within her voice. Her tone and message cuts really deep, you feel her pain. There’s a part within the song when she says ‘Don’t make me beg! With a very high pitched but beautifully sounding voice, you definitely feel the hurt she is going through.
50/50 is about an unattainable type of love, one that does not offer equality, hence why lyrics such as ‘Are you really ready or are you wasting my time’ ‘You give me 50/50 I give you 100%.
The beat is bananas! Her voice changes depending on the message! And the message is relatable to everyone!
Chill Out is the 3rd song from DURT, very unique compared to the other songs within the Album. The tone within the message is contradictory to the overall flow of the Album but necessary when you’ve been through most of the subjects tackled throughout the Album.
Vocally sung very beautifully, especially in the chorus of the song you hear her sing in falsetto. Ray manages to allow her voice to capture the message and the beat very well.
The message within this song is Savage! When one is constantly hurt by others they begin to grow tough skin, they become immune to hurt and most often start become the person that hurt people themselves! In this song Ray BLK is the SAVAGE with lyrics like ‘I told you I was trouble when we met but you never got the message’ and ‘I only want you on a late night when I’m lonely’ The message is blunt and forward, the chorus has lyrics such as ‘I don’t care what you feel, you’re making a big deal of nothing you should chill out. Don’t say you were misled you heard me’ , ‘I had no plans of loving you’.
The first feature of the Album comes from none other than wordsmith and lyrical genius Wretch 32. Gone is a song that reflects on a broken relationship analysed by two different perspectives, you get to hear Rays’ side first followed by Wretch’s perspective.
An acoustic sound, soft but noisy at times when the other is describing a tough period within the relationship. Mostly sounding strong but some bitter moments lyrically for obvious reasons. Ray BLK’s voice is soft when singing her part, nostalgically looking back at what could have been. Sadly, sung over the sounds of the guitar and clicking fingers, noticeably in her voice you can feel regret from Ray, lonely she reflects on a moment when she decided to be prideful and not call him, now wanting him back she realises the errors of her judgement.
Wretch’s intro to the song is almost magical, he uses euphemisms to summarise their relationship breakdown. ‘You have a memory of a Gold Fish, I hope you remember so you don’t Sink. I gave you everything your Ocean was, motionless past success the growth was less, you told us that Hope was best, you crossed your heart you hoped for Death, I saved us then you Atheist, you changed your friends you changed for them you changed again, and these times’ Just let that message Sink’ Extraordinary Is the best way to descried it!
The tone of Wretch 32’s voice is one of an angry yet passionate man, one that is done and cannot fathom returning to a relationship that was governed by other people’s perceptions, being publicly humiliated and portrayed as a bad man and the forever changing moods of his partner. You even get to hear some singing from Wretch himself!
Hunny is the title of the 5th song on DURT, a euphemism used in this song to describe the female genitals. Sung very beautifully in almost Spoken words style, you hear the passion in Rays voice as she delivers the message elegantly. The beat is soulful, reminiscent of an old school R&B vibe.
Never bias with spewing knowledge, Hunny conveys an important yet Deep message to both men and women.
Her message to all women is ‘Be very careful about who you think you know, you don’t know their intentions, some boys just want your pride but nothing else. She sings ‘They want your Hunny from the Queen B, so sweet’ A great play on words put together in a very Classy way!
To All Men she sings ‘Some Just Want That Thang ask Lauryn’ References R&B legend Lauryn Hill. They giving you their number just to get that ring, Next thing you’re having a baby by somebody Lazy, taking a piece of your Pie’, ‘Hunny, yes they want your Money so sweet’
The message is to be vigilant and do you due diligence when selecting your life partner, don’t rush into something, take your time before you embark into a situation that is irreversible!
An Anthem which conveys Passion and extreme Pride of one’s neighbourhood is how I would describe the penultimate song from DURT, MY HOOD. My Hood features talented and respected rapper Stomzy. Ray BLK and Stormzy both give encounters of growing up in their own ‘Hoods’
Ray BLK’s voice in this song is passionate, emotional, sad yet courageous. The beat and production is dramatic but fitting for to subjects discussed. The message within the song allows Ray to channel different vocals ranges and emotions which are pulled from different angels depending on the conversation. From a low soft voice, to a strong and proud voice which holds a lot of conviction. A direct reflection of the message being spewed.
South London is where she grew up, estates located within the Blue borough. Ray takes you on a journey as she speaks about the life struggles of a young girl who had to find her way despite adversity growing up in a neighbour that was highly influenced by poverty and crime. Using Powerful lyrics like ‘That building turns you to a woman from a girl, on these streets we’re high when its low’. She references popular landmarks in South like Morely chicken, giving you a real touch and perspective of south London.
Stromzy’s perspective of his Hood ‘I’m from a hood where niggas make their money, then they move, the women in the Caribbean shop is always rude! This description is very real and funny but it’s his reality of the past, how things were growing up, going to buy food and the lady behind the counter being rude to you and your friends. ‘Staring into my face I’m going to ask what’s the problem’. There a specific line that stood out to me, and in his own words summed up his ideology of where he came from ‘You can be Bane or you can Be Robin but we’ve had a lot of Dark Nights Living up in Gotham, where is Darks, babies having babies, its crazy up in my hood. ‘We’d rather buy guns than read books ‘They left us in the dark so we light Kush.
To end this song, Ray BLK gives a powerful and touching speech which is soul cleansing and good for the spirit ‘There’s no place like home, buy me any ticket I don’t want to go to a town where there’s no one like me around, don’t take me there or anywhere’.
A great Anthem and advocate for pride, acknowledgement and respect of the streets that raised and helped you be the person you are.
The final song and Title of the album is DURT. A Soulful sound which is very sultry with a tainted message filled with assumptions leading to infidelity.
The beat is very seductive Rays voice extremely sexy within itself emotively driven.
Lyrically gutless and brave, with mysterious story telling which leaves a lot to be desired and allows your imagination to go wild. The opening Lyrics of the song is ‘Friday night and my dress is tight, they part like Moses, smell like smell like roses’. Extremely erratic but very juicy indeed!
A story of a woman in a relationship in which she feels very insecure, as she believes due to her strong sense of female intuition that her partner is out having an affair with another woman.
You’ll hear these words uttered frequently within the song ‘The jokes on you, so I’m out laughing with someone else too, You doing you, I’m doing Durt too’
I’m sure plenty of people can relate to the feeling of something isn’t right, then unfortunately going ahead and engaging in revenge without concrete evidence.