Set to a sneaking tempo and initially presented out of a miasma of midrange and a distant but all the more portentous melody in the background, Ren.y.c’s “Wicky” doesn’t start off sounding like a pop track, but instead an invitation into the darkness that lurks just beyond your bedroom door.


There’s a late-night feel to the rhythm and the minor key melodicism seeping through our stereo speakers in the first fifteen seconds or so of “Wicky,” but it isn’t until Ren.y.c has made her first appearance that the context of this vibe can be fully understood and appreciated. We’re going deep with this player, and while she’s planning on fleshing out some personal statements in this piece, she isn’t shy about doing so with all of her cards on the table for us to see.

Part of what makes this track sound and feel so intimate is the style in which it was mixed, but I’m very hesitant to chalk up any of the energy in the performance to the production tech alone. It should be said that Ren.y.c is a rapper who doesn’t like to make her material about the filtration it’s given in the studio; hence why so much of her work, including and up to the release of “Wicky,” has had a raw mixtape kind of a sound as opposed to anything even remotely steeped in pop varnish. Structurally speaking, the hook here flirts with a model familiar to those of us with an affinity for alternative rap, but that’s really where the connection between the songwriter and her peers ends.

The music video for “Wicky” is the best kind of hip-hop video you can get these days – short, simple, and unweighted by the indulgence and camp of a constantly out-of-touch commerciality that exists within the genre’s top tier. Ren.y.c doesn’t need all the bells and whistles some of her rivals do to make a point to us with visuals and the verses that match them just the same, and in choosing to keep all of the fireworks restricted to the natural appeal of the music, she further makes it known to critics like myself how committed she is to keeping her content purer than the average player would.


“Wicky” clocks in at less than two and a half minutes total, but it isn’t missing that special ingredient that gets smart tracks into steady rotation on the FM dial; to me, its signature feature is Ren.y.c herself. She’s throwing a lot of talent in our direction here and exhibiting a skillset that only comes with having over seven years of experience grinding in the independent market, and with any luck “Wicky” will act as the cornerstone of a new album and proper follow-up to some of the elaborate sounds that have been coming out of the underground in this generation. Fans have already waited long enough, and with beats this good, I think that their demand for new music from Ren.y.c could become too great for her to resist.

Garth Thomas