There’s a lot more to Swedish rap than Yung Lean.
Take HEL, a trio of producers, rappers, and visual artists, and their THIRSTY EP, for example. At first listen, the talk of Patron, fucking bitches, and clubs might have you thinking that they’re just copying standard US rap tropes, but dig a little deeper, and you’ll realize they’re playing with your expectations and injecting standard hip-hop topics with their own humor and unique experiences.
Whether they’re waking up beside a girl who looks like Butthead without makeup on, referencing the six months of winter they have to deal with, or crooning a hook of, “have you ever fucked someone so good it made her cry,” there’s a sly wit and general sense of fun throughout the whole EP. And that’s before even mentioning the brilliant production, a combination of heavy bass and gentle melodies that balances hazy and hard-hitting with winning results.
HEL’s Thirsty EP is out Monday July 21. Listen to the premiere below.