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The Hit List: Ro James – SMOKE [EP]

Unapologetically R&B: In an ever-growing world of rapping singers and singing rappers, Ro James is preserving essence of R&B by blending old school vocal ability with new school swagger.

Following a trio of EPs, collectively known as Coke, Jack & Cadillacs, which bounce between tales of love, lust and loss, the singer released his debut album, Eldorado, in 2016. The album peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart and spawned the Grammy-nominated single, “Permission.”

Fresh off the success his debut album, the New York bred singer-songwriter returns with “Smoke,” part one of his new two-part EP series.

RELATED: Episode 15: With Your Permission

Whether it’s stimulating your body and mind on the plush opener “Outside the Box (How Bout That)” or posing questions like “Baby, have you ever had nigga pray for ya?” on cup-and-bop anthem “Devotion,” Ro once again delivers a project drenched in sex and soul.

Ro James is that rare kind of artist that feels fresh yet familiar. His sound is relevant, but could have played well in any era, especially the 90s when R&B ruled the airwaves and charts. At first listen, the influences of Prince and D’Angelo are apparent, but it doesn’t take long before his voice melts your ears into submission. There’s a type of seduction behind the raspy tones and smooth falsetto that adds an air of mystery to the man behind the music, and makes it the perfect soundtrack for riding out or the bedroom.

Stream below.

Ro James
SMOKE – EP
Bystorm Entertainment/RCA Records
Released 3/24/18
Available on Apple Music, Spotify, TIDAL

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