18-year-old Chicago rapper Kweku Collins is set to drop his new album Nat Love next week. The young spitter built a healthy buzz for himself off the strength of his excellent EP Say It Here, While It’s Safe last year. “Ego Killed The Romance” is his latest offering off the new album, and it features Jamila Woods, whose beautiful voice graced both “Sunday Candy” and (ugh) “White Privilege II.”
The track opens with a slow grand piano progression that’s out of tune and out of time on purpose before a rumbling, vibrant synth bass comes in along with tribal drums and Collins’ contemplative sing-song flow. His lyrics are vivid and cosmic; he paints a loose space travel narrative opening with “Crash landed on Mars, on my way to the sun” before bringing things back to earth to lament how he can’t provide what his love wants from him. Woods comes in with an infectious melody and Collins speeds up his flow in his second verse for more stream-of-consciousness relationship confessionals. The balance of the heavy synth and drums, and high piano hits is perfect for Collins to zoom in and out on relationships looking at them from outer space and then placing himself vulnerably in the thick of them. Check it out.