The rise of “emo-trap”, off-beat flows, and intentionally muddy mixes, while trendy, have become incredibly oversaturated in the underground. It feels like every day a new song comes out that falls into one of those categories. Obviously, there are many underground artists that are trying to break away from these soundcloud cliches, but there aren’t many that are doing it like 30ROCK. His newest track, “Persona”, has him building up a Pop-RnB wave that could turn the tide for rappers and singers alike.

Every great Pop-RnB song has a memorable build-up. Remember the xylophone chimes on Birthday Sex by Jeremih? The bouncy synth pattern on Buy You A Drank by T-Pain? These intros build anticipation that pay off in a major way with high-energy hooks and hard-hitting verses you can sing along to. Producer ErikiBeatz does a great job of reinforcing this genre standard by utilizing a deep, sinister melody, then making a quick transition to a poppy acoustic progression you can’t get out of your head. By the time, 30ROCK’s melodic vocals cut through the mix with a catchy couplet, you’re hooked.

I fell in love with her persona // taking trips and we fuck in the morning

ROCK’s smooth flow and commanding presence reminiscent of a young Jack Donaghy guide you effortlessly through to the verse over ErikiBeatz’s subdued hi-hats and hard-knocking kick, throwing in more entertaining bars that include a Genuwine reference. He keeps the witticism going by comparing his girl’s pussy to velveeta, which initially gave me pause. Does this man have a cheese fetish? I thought. Is he about to hit me with a line about being up in her holes like Swiss? Thankfully, neither of those thoughts came to fruition, and I was able to enjoy the song without thinking of 30ROCK as the first soundcloud artist to bring cheese fetishism to the forefront of his music.

The repeat of the hook is a Victory Lap (r.i.p nipsey), bringing back the excitement and positive vibe from the song’s beginning. Afterward, the acoustic guitar riff takes center stage again, serving as a perfect end to this sunny, spring banger. 30ROCK’s well-crafted pop sound is a lot like my friend Teddy when he had mono freshman year of college: Infectious. There’s no telling how he can influence the underground landscape going forward (30ROCK, not my boy Teddy). After this release, I know myself and many others are looking forward to seeing the moves The Rock who is Not Dwayne Johnson makes. Listen to “Persona” below.

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