Over the weekend, Ravyn Lenae released a remix of "Spice," a choice cut off her Midnight Moonlight EP. The original featured a refreshing, tropical arrangement with clear, seductive vocals from the Chicago singer, who has previously mentioned OutKast, Timbaland, Eminem, Erykah Badu and India Arie as her chief musical influences. Despite her relative youth in the game, the confidence in her voice still shines through, and Lenae has amassed a fair share of collaborators in the hip-hop world. Most notably, Lenae put in work as a performer on Mick Jenkin's underrated The Healing Component, and now she can add another rap collaborator to her list.
On the Spice (Remix) St. Louis rapper Smino comes through to spit some game. While the beat remains largely unchanged, retaining the breezy, angelic harp and guitar arrangement, Smino adds a new layer of class to the already classy joint. It's no surprise that these two artists have found a sense of creative chemistry, as they both seem to have come up respecting jazz and soul artists.
The most impressive quality of the original version carries over to the remix, with a powerful vocal performance from Lenae. Her voice fluctuates from airy to solid with utmost control, and the harmonies are reminiscent of that whole melodic Chicago wave. While the "sweet, salty, spicy" refrains stands out as a little tonally different from the majority of the lyrics, it does add an inherent layer of implied sexuality.
Smino sets things off with a sung intro, staying in line with the spice motif, comparing himself to habanero in the process. He proceeds to kick into a smooth double-time flow, with interspersed moments of scattered melody. It's not exactly reinventing the track's identity, but like a dose of sriracha, it certain adds a welcome layer of flavor.
I'm gettin' greedy with your ingredients ain't no point in pretend
She's just a stutterer, might just butter up just to shut her up like film