Hip-hop is having a really incredible year, and independent rappers like Nigeria’s Victor PEDRO are the reason why. In PEDRO’s new single “Call Me, I Miss Ya!,” he sets his sound apart from everyone else on the eastern side of the Atlantic by incorporating elements from American R&B as well as Jamaican mento, ska, and melodic rap, yielding one of the most diverse sonic profiles of anyone in the underground today. “Call Me, I Miss Ya!” isn’t his most multilayered material ever to see international release, but it can be said that it’s perhaps his most emotive and direct by a landslide.
Hybrid tonality is the name of the hip-hop game in 2019, and no one seems to know that better than Victor PEDRO does. As previously stated, his sound is an amalgamation of a lot of worldly influences, and even though it might be hard to cohesively structure a song that includes every stitch of the patchwork comprising his style, he makes it look remarkably easy here. There’s a touch of R&B in his vocal, a little reggae in his bass, and a cosmopolitan rap groove holding all of the intricate pieces together like a superglue that was designed to last forever. PEDRO is still pretty much the new kid on the block for American and British rap aficionados, but he’s grown so much since his debut hit the airwaves all the way back in 2013 (which, for those of you who are as bad with time as I am, was an astounding six years ago now). An exercise in maturity in the style of “Call Me, I Miss Ya!” simply would not have been possible during his initial campaign in the early/mid-2010’s, and I think that most anyone who is familiar with his early work would be inclined to agree with me.
The bass isn’t nearly as loud and boisterous as the percussion is in this single, but it doesn’t hurt the harmony in this dirge in the least. In addition to being a killer songwriter and master arranger, PEDRO proves himself a worthwhile harmonist in “Call Me, I Miss Ya!” by cultivating one of the smoothest melodic duets of the spring with his bassline in the track. It’s something that I heard Seattle’s Ronnue do earlier this year in his remix of “Something About U,” but other than him, I don’t know that there’s anyone else with the depth of vocal talent to pull off something as elaborate in tone as this charming example is. I don’t think we need to argue about this one; Victor PEDRO is an artist that R&B, rap and pop fans alike need to be following right now, and he’s giving audiences around the globe something to get turned on by in his most recent studio cut.
“Call Me, I Miss Ya!” is emotional but sure of itself in the most important of ways, and in today’s cold and calculated pop culture, it’s a rather unique track to come across. I definitely can’t wait to hear more from PEDRO in the future, as he’s yet to disappoint me with his music so far.