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Dro Kenji strives to heal heartbreak on ‘WISH YOU WERE HERE’

Replaying love “OVER & OVER” as a self-destructive “ARSONIST,” Dro Kenji’s WISH YOU WERE HERE is the pinnacle of anthemic heartbreak.

Arriving on Friday (Aug. 18), the Internet Money-signed star extended his latest love-torn world with 17 new tracks. This is the South Carolina crooner’s first album of 2023 and his eighth full-length project before his 22nd birthday, all stemming from his electric 2020 debut, TEARS & PISTOLS.

Known for channeling raw emotion through evocative, earworming melodies, Kenji delves deep into the complexities of heartbreak and the addictive remedies he often seeks to numb it. Tracks like “THROW UP” and “ATTACHMENT PROBLEMS” loosely draws inspiration from the late Juice WRLD, while a personal favorite “MYSELF” feels like a left-of-center yet elevated pop hit — courtesy of Kenji’s right hands in Nick Mira and Census. 

WYHY feels like a nocturnal journey through a restless mind, echoing with memories, regrets and fleeting resolutions all crashing into one another. “PAMPER PAMPER,” a track shaped by the deft hands of Pro Era’s Powers Pleasant and featuring “STEP BACK” partner-in-crime Mike Dimes (the album’s sole feature), illustrates Kenji’s continuous battle to escape his internal conflicts. Simply put, moving on is never as easy as it seems. However, there’s a sense of solace in understanding that Kenji’s pain, while inescapable, is an emblem of authenticity within his sound.

Normally stringing together multiple full-length releases in a 12-month span, it’s been nearly a year since he dropped his star-studded LP, ANYWHERE BUT HERE. He preceded this with other projects in LOST IN HERE (2022), WOWY (2022), F*CK YOUR FEELINGS (2021), EAT YOUR HEART OUT (2021), RACE ME TO HELL (2020) and T&P (2020).

ABH featured close peers in DC The Don, KA$HDAMI, NoCap, Mike Dimes and midwxst — whom he went on tour with last Fall. Wishing we were there, Kenji’s latest effort is certainly his most sonically polished yet.

Check out ‘WISH YOU WERE HERE’ below!

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