Feeding his fan base with the pre-album teaser in March, Kobe dropped off another appetizer ahead of the main course, as the 18-year-old emcee shared his 6-track EP Relapsed on Friday (July 8).
Leading in Relapsed with its lead single “Getcha” on July 1, Kobe instantly set the tone for his new era with a hypnotic offering that fully shows off his sonic versatility. Exuding different cadences throughout the track — screeching with a similar emotional vibrato as new wave compatriot Yeat — Kobe’s performance is ever-evolving over the course of “Getcha’s” near 3-minute run time. The coinciding visual is just as mysterious and intrepid, tapping the ever-so-diligent savant DotCom Nirvan for its direction.
Initially teasing the EP with a batch of black-and-white photos, the wristband and ring Kobe displays in both shots contain inscriptions of Relapsed’s previously hidden date. Now that the tape is finally on all streaming platforms, the Louisiana rapper has ultimately garnered greater anticipation for his eventual full-length debut.
Back in May, Ko also revealed his intentions to bring a slew of SoundCloud “classics” to DSPs. This workshopped “Black Kat Klassics” could have been aptly retitled Relapsed, however, his latest mixtape holds a handful of new cuts rather than unreleased gems.
Sitting down with XXL for an interview last month, the “MIA” singer-rapper openly discussed the essence of U4EYA, saying that its promotional singles “Don’t Miss” and “Escape Your Love” are “just building [the] story to get the people invested.”
Similarly, the teen phenom has not only solidified himself as one of the brightest talents of SoundCloud’s revitalized underground, but is emerging as a superstar in his own right. Already boasting features with Trippie Redd, BROCKHAMPTON, Sonny Digital and nearly every major player in the new wave, Kobe’s hype is at an all-time high — despite his 2021 EP Ko. being the only full-length offering in his discography prior to U4 0.5.
With all eyes on Kobe’s rise, here’s hoping that the music gets him out of this “Relapsed” state.
Listen to ‘Relapsed’ below!