Pop-Rap is making its rise and multi-genre artist Jesse Eplan is on top of the wave. After releasing his most successful record, “Bakwoods”, Jesse Eplan follows up with his most refined record to date, “Player”. “Player” is an eight track EP that fuses his newfound West Coast tastes with his East Coast Trap roots. This blend is a product of Jesse’s recent relocation from Florida to LA. The impact of the transition between diverse musical environments has accelerated his artistic growth, noticeable throughout the EP.
Jesse Eplan flaunts some new tactics and approaches throughout the project, such as the utilization of vocal inflections often heard in Trap and Emo Rap. These inflections draw out the raw emotions behind the lyrics. While full of newness, the basic material remains familiar – sparse beats, a loose sense of movement, and a hint of that bedroom-recorded characteristic.
Upbeat and Experimental
The EP opens with “Issues”, an introspective song crafted with an upbeat production. “Issues” instantly showcases Jesse Eplan’s musical reach. It’s a medley of influences of generations that came before him. You can hear an almost playful drill rap, a lush melody, and angsty background crooning all while switching flows on a dime.
“Honeybun” is a track that jumps out at you. Using the most experimental beat found on the project, the harp instantly grabs you. Jesse takes his foot off the gas and weaves a taut melody around soft-vocal verses. “Honeybun” is an exploration of everything Eplan has going for him. It feels like listening to James Blake on Adderall.
Immediately following “Honeybun” is a track called “Inside”. Typically, when listening to an album, at least halfway through you begin to know what to expect. That is not the case with rising artist Jesse Eplan. As the 7thsong on the project, “Inside” almost comes off as an interlude styled track. This seemed to effectively prepare his listeners for the final two songs, which have more of an R&B foundation than the previous songs. “Player” wraps up with the well-known single, “Bakwoods” where Jesse’s true vocal range is most present.
Overall, Jesse Eplan’s melody-heavy “Player” EP holds immense replay value. If it weren’t for the hooks and choruses, I could easily believe this to be a freestyle project laid down in a single take because of the raw and unpolished approach, like that of Lil Peep. His limber flow and lyricism hints at greater potential to come. The more you listen, the more there is to unpack.