It feels like a long time since West Coast R&B hits like "Loyal," "2 On," and "Paranoid," dominated the radio, led by songwriters and producers like DJ Mustard, Nic Nac, and Bobby Brackins. The clubby take on Bay Area fundamentals was a successful formula that quickly invaded mainstream before fading away, but the L.A.-based artists who gave the sound its notoriety in the first place continue to do new things with it. Ty Dolla $ign's Beach House 3 finds Ty continuing to do new things with his pop-inflected take on R&B, while Mila J's "Drifting" from her 11.18 EP, takes the party-starting sound into murkier, more intoxicating territory. Produced by frequent collaborator I-Rich, the bouncy synth sounds appear only in soft focus as 808 cow bells ring out and Mila's slithering vocals carve out a haunting, but still extremely catchy topline. Later, she takes a rap-influenced approach to her verse, adding unpredictable rhythms to her lyrics, only to hit an ecstatic push into dreamy Aaliyah-esque cooing on the hook.
Listen to the full project, released as a surprise on Mila's Birthday, here.
Carrying the bags yeah
While I'm poppin' all the tags yeah
You know we gon' be down for life
So you know I'm finna brag yeah
You can't hold down what you don't see
We runnin' out of time so we don't sleep