When: Thu., May 18, 8 p.m. 2017
If you’re going to make music with even the slightest hint of trap in the mix, you’d better come correct. Because do we seriously need another rolling hi hat beat for some middle-schooler to “dab” to? Probably not. But PNB Rock, born Rakim Hasheem Allen, actually takes the played-out trap-phenomenon-that-won’t-die to a place that won’t bore you to death. With the addition of his catchy auto-tuned R&B vocals, Allen elevates trap-heavy beats to a space that feels fresh enough to avoid cringing. And while his voice is strong (even behind the auto-tuner), his cadence is punctuated by interesting syllabic patterns and cadence change-ups to keep listeners interested. Though the drum sounds and rhythm feel familiar, the layering and texture of echoing percussion and synth melodies combined with Allen’s hip-hop cadence make for a sound that’s unmatched by anything on the radio right now.