If you dig on the flirtatious wail of Miguel or the trill passion of Tre Songz, then Adrian Marcel is definitely in your lane. With a raspier tone than either chart-topper, the on-the-verge Oaktown singer—who’s widely considered to be the one who’s got next in R&B—has a few months-old free mixtape, 7 Days of Weak. (And it’s co-signed in a three-minute intro by fellow Oakland native/soul icon Raphael Saadiq.)
7 Days of Weak is synthed- and swagged-out, with lots of vocal melisma and reverbed “808s and a clap,” that de facto heartbeat of Generation Y rhythm and blues. Some of the mixtape’s street-edgier hooks might make old heads cringe, but we all know Jodeci made cussin’ on a hook normal in R&B way back in the 1990s. (And profanity out of parental earshot is still one of the first great thrills of teen rebellion.)
Lots of cocky swagu pouring from the mouth of a guy that looks like Al B. Sure’s son’s first cousin is bound to be flammable to many a teenage libido, and that’s clearly Adrian Marcel’s targeted demographic, hence his subject matter. Exhibit A is “Caught Up”: erotic R&B usual-ness, about Marcel’s side-girl’s love being so good, she gonna git him in “troub-ow.” Exhibit B: “Dope Dealer,” a musical banger with lots of “Captain Obvious” weed references and “I’ll see you in the streets” metaphors, and Rick Ross providing butter leather-interiored bars over a Timbaland-style lunch-table syncopation.
Generally speaking, the beats on 7 Days of Weak are fresh on some ride-out trunk funk, and Marcel’s voice is quite brawny and sexy throughout. In fact, his persona and M.O. kinda read like that fine jock you buddy-laid back in high school—the one who didn’t appear to have the deepest vision of life, but undercover, he was really tenderhearted.—Sun Singleton
Sun Singleton is a Virginia-born singer/journalist based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @sunsing.
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