The Bay Area has always been known within the hip-hop world for its dynamic hyphy music and seemingly-endless dictionary of slang. But there’s something to be said for the right laid back groove, the type that rides effortlessly and provides a platform for the right MC to sit perfectly in the pocket of the beat.
That’s the vibe on “Waiting For You,” the new single by rising Bay Area artist Rexx Life Raj that features a guest turn from rising Atlanta rapper Russ, which Billboard premieres below.
Produced by Ian McKee and Kyle Betty, the beat allows Raj to float over top with a silky blend of singing and rapping that shifts seamlessly from the melody-raps of each verse and the head-nodding hook, before Russ comes in to deliver a dexterous second verse.
“The process of making the songs with Russ was actually hella simple, which is why I knew it would come out clean,” Raj told Billboard in an email about the making of the track. “The vibe was there because we’re both on that melodic rap s–t, but we still have an emphasis on bars. The same vibe transitioned to the studio. The tracks we made were pure blap and it was effortless. The energy in the room was hella positive, so I knew something good would come out.”
The single isn’t necessarily attached to an upcoming project, although Raj hasn’t ruled that out. But, he says, he’s taking 2017 one step at a time.
“At this point I’m just taking everything with a grain of salt and trying to be consistent,” Raj continues. “I think that’s where a lot of people f–k up; they get complacent with one or two good songs, or even a good mixtape or album, and stop going as hard. I’m trying to continue speaking from the heart and make every song better than the last. That’s the goal for 2017.”