Some rappers don’t make it straightforward for you to review their material — especially as a female. Portions of lyrics are entirely disagreeable, but if the vibe and the rhythm of the music pulls you in, then you’ve just got to stick to assessing the tunes. And the vocal tones and sounds that feature on Ricky Hil’s ‘Same Shit Different Day’ are worthy of note. In fact, that’s why I’m still publishing a feature about it, despite its release being back in early 2021.
So, if you’re not familiar, Ricky Hil is the son of Tommy Hilfiger — get the surname spelling now? Yep. Back in 2014, he released ‘SYLDD’, which included an absolute ripper of a collaboration, ‘Nomads’, with The Weeknd. It boosted Hil’s credentials from mere SoundCloud rapper to someone who could pinch a bit of the limelight, alongside the rising Abel Tesfaye, whose reflective, darker blend of R&B has massively altered the game.
I’m here to comment on the songs rather than Hil’s public, in-the-media actions, but he had a pause between albums for a bit. That’s why I only came to hear ‘Same Shit Different Day’ more recently — he’d slipped from my radar.
If you’re into your emo rap, this album is a goer. It’s dissident but accountable, with humble lyrics such as “I dropped out of school and I’m a substance abuser” making their way onto ‘Suffer’. This opening piece is an honest spitballing, laying down Hil’s thoughts. But it’s ‘Tryin’’ that’s most gripping for me. It’s an outpouring of apologies, but has the sort of melody that not only would’ve been nicely slotted into his formative records, but they wouldn’t be out of place on a 2000s emo-rock album.
You then get ‘Take This’, which is just toe-tappingly, neck-boppingly catchy, and that basically summarises exactly why there’s a point to me writing about this album. Are the songs easy to listen to? Yeah, it’s as plain as that.
‘My Way’, ‘Can’t Sleep’ and ‘Bad Place’ are among the other slow-paced emo jams, but the latter strangely has that haunting edge that some of the old 2014 offerings did. The tempo’s then raised on ‘ARP’, only to be brought right down towards the end of the album. It’s the acoustic-style, softly picked strings of ‘Don’t Go’ that round things off so well for me. It’s a mood, basically.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Tryin’’