By MC Galang

The title track of Intraverse IV culls hip-hop percussion and R&B stylings to deliver the latter genre’s preoccupation with emotional indulgence—especially evident during R&B’s commercial boom in the ‘80s, which also happened to be widely considered and criticized as its most soulless era. 

These tendencies can easily become fully realized with the same lyrical and thematic clichés repeatedly churned out, style overwhelmingly over substance. That is not to say, R&B has to plumb through academic annotations of human emotions in order to validate them or assign “real” value to them. But the way plenty of songs are written right now sounds and feels like they are lousy retellings of other people’s stories and feelings, as opposed to their own: detached and mechanical. 

Following LUSTBASS’s work through the years is like mapping desire: visceral, innocuous, and palpable. The latter half of his discography, particularly the Intraverse series, examines desire as part of the human experience and demystifies its role—one that hinges on sex and lust alone—in relationships, including one we have with ourselves. It reclaims autonomy as much as it celebrates union. “After Storms” sweetens the sap of “you will always be my sun after storms” by stating it matter-of-factly and yet it still is tremendously more affecting than any other Shakespearean professions in the Spotify era.

Stream After Storms