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Rye Rye, ‘Go! Pop! Bang!‬’: Rapper’s Eclectic Debut Finally Sees Release

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In 2008, things were moving quickly for Rye Rye. Her debut track, “Shake It to the Ground” — released with DJ Blaqstarr at the end of ’07, when she was only 17 — had caught the attention of Diplo and later electro-pop artist M.I.A., who recruited the Baltimore teen as a hype-woman for two tours and later signed her as the first artist for her newly minted Interscope subsidiary N.E.E.T.

And then Rye Rye, known for her energetic dance moves and rapid-fire delivery, caught the postponement bug. Originally set for 2009 release, her debut kept getting pushed back, but for good reasons.

“The first delay was I got pregnant,” Rye Rye, born Ryeisha Berrain, tells The BoomBox. “I needed time off to be with my baby, so that was that.”

With a year gone by, she was feeling alienated from her old recordings.

“It was kind of more about getting comfortable with the album,” she explains. “After I had my baby, I started experimenting with other grooves. I felt like I wanted to get some different sounds in. I felt like I was evolving as well, and the times were changing. The first album I did, it was around for awhile, even though nobody else had heard it, it had been around in my ears for so long.”

Out today (May 15), her long-in-the-making debut, Go! Pop! Bang!‬ is a pop experiment complete with big name producers — Bangladesh, the Neptunes and RedOne — and guest spots from Tyga, Akon, Robyn and Porcelain Black. Mentor M.I.A. shows up on “Better Than You” and “Sunshine,” the latter of which she also produced. Thanks to its musical confections and Rye Rye’s quick-paced and sweet, soft voice, ‪Go! Pop! Bang!‬ lands somewhere in the burgeoning hip-pop/pop-rap territory, in between Nicki Minaj‘s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded and Santigold‘s 2008 debut.

“The track I did with Pharrell — that’s almost a dub sound,” Rye says of the multifaceted percussion on “Shake Twist Drop.” “That was strictly drums and it gives you a tribal feel. Then I worked with Bangladesh, and he played the 808s on one of the tracks.”

She describes her track with Akon, “Crazy Bitch,” as “really different” for its melodic hook.

“With ‘DNA,’ that’s more Euro,” she says, describing the RedOne-produced club banger. “I was just working with different people that had different sounds, and I wanted to kinda work with all of them.”

But perhaps what sets Rye Rye apart from all the other pop-rap artists out there is her uninhibited tendency to bust a move. The 21-year-old was a dancer before she pursued music. (Last year, she also ventured into acting and was cast in the remake of ’21 Jump Street.’)

“I was always dancing,” she says. “I basically got into a dance troupe when I was eight years old and started dancing with other girls that were my age. I stopped dancing in my teenage stage, so I went through the teenage stuff. Then, when I started making music it was just a given.”

Vocally, she says, she wasn’t inspired by one artist, but rather by house music.

“It basically came out like that,” she says. “I can’t really classify it, because I feel like I do something in different lanes that is difficult to classify. You can’t classify it in one genre because it’s like everything. That’s what I want it to be. I don’t want it to be classified at all. I want it to be in its own lane.”

Watch Rye Rye’s Video for “Learning to Drive”


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