Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Rye Rye

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We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.


Album: Go! Pop! Bang! by Rye Rye (out now on N.E.E.T.)

Press play if you like: Cheeky spitfire rappers; giddy electro-pop; M.I.A without the overbearing ego, reductive politics, or truffle fries

Some background: Rye Rye is only 21, but her debut album Go! Pop! Bang! has been such a long time coming that it plays like a career retrospective. That’s especially true of its deluxe edition, which throws into the package “Shake It To The Ground,” the Blaqstarr-produced regional hit that established Rye Rye as the most likely breakout star of Baltimore club scene in 2007; “Hardcore Girls,” the rapper’s feisty 2008 follow-up single; and “Bang,” a breakbeat-driven track issued in 2009, shortly after the Rye Rye signed to M.I.A.’s N.E.E.T. imprint. The label intended to release her debut album that year, but those plans were upended by a surprise pregnancy that took Rye Rye off the road at age 18. In the following years, Baltimore club’s moment seemed to pass. Scene veteran DJ Class was picked up by a major label and then promptly forgotten, and for a while it seemed like a similar fate might await Rye Rye, who faced the added burden of being a teen virtuoso who was no longer a teen. Go! Pop! Bang! is no worse for its many delays, though. Rye Rye’s background in Baltimore club—a scene with equal parts hip-hop and house in its DNA—makes her uniquely suited for the dance-minded pop scene of 2012, and her new tracks cleverly play to contemporary trends without losing the infectious ebullience of her early work.

Try this: Given pop’s Euro-dance fascination, it was probably only a matter of time before somebody reworked Vengaboys’ inescapable ’90s dance hit “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom.” At least that somebody turned out to be Rye Rye, whose game, flirty verses on “Boom Boom” recast the track as a spiritual successor to Nicki Minaj’s deliriously peppy “Super Bass.”