Listen to “Adventure Time Freestyle” Now:
This is WNXP’s exclusive world premiere of a new track from Nashville Artist of the Month, Daisha McBride. Lightheartedly dubbed “Adventure Time Freestyle,” it’s a casual sketch that reflects the Rap Girl’s fluency in rhyming on the fly.
She came up with a comparison that captures the comfortably relaxed cadences of her flow: “Blue jeans, the way I stay in the pocket.” And each time she reaches that refrain, you can feel the understatement in her delivery, like she’s barely flexing a well-developed muscle. The way she records, spitting while sitting in a chair right next to her producers, lends itself to a vocal style as laidback as it is athletic.
McBride raps over a minimalistic track, with ample open space between the spectral, sampled singing, twinkling jazz chord voicings on keyboard and furtive, syncopated beat. That beat was created by Sci-Fy, one-half of the core production team that she’s been working with since college, and the track’s co-producer, A.B. Eastwood, receives a shout-out in a line referencing his old Twitter handle, “Grammy-winning boyfriend.”
“The sample that you that you hear,” McBride explained when I interviewed her in the studio where she recorded her performance, “A.B. has a bunch of videos on his phone of him just playing keys and singing and stuff. And he played one [for us], and I was like, ‘Can we chop one of these up?’ And so he sent a bunch to [Sci-Fy] and we went through them and I found one that I like. I was just kind of in the corner writing, and we finished it all together.”
Eastwood, McBride told me, also supplied the song title, riffing on the name of her now-ex, a name that made him think of a character in the cartoon show “Adventure Time.”
The track clocks in at a short and sweet two minutes, brevity that brings to mind Tierra Whack’s work. (That probably isn’t a coincidence, since McBride included not one, but two tracks from Whack in her playlist of musical reference points.)
“I was going to put a second verse on there,” McBride recalled, “but then as we were just listening to it, I was like, ‘I like that it’s short, just, like, boop and then you just kind of step away.’ It feels good.”