Yeah0k! is a rapper and producer hailing from Philadelphia, as well as a co-founder of the fast-growing underground collective Seraphim. While she started taking music seriously in 2016, she adopted the yeah0k! moniker sometime in 2019 and formed the Seraphim collective with producer/artist Apartment9 in August of 2021, her following having only grown larger and more dedicated ever since. She has a diverse discography, with some of her earlier projects incorporating influences from the once-burgeoning hyperpop scene, before moving further into plugg(nB), pop, and alternative stylings. Over the past couple of years, she has refined her style and blended her influences into a dreamy, melodic brand of hip-hop that she describes as ‘blisspop’. At the start of 2022, yeah0k! released a single titled ‘its not all bad’, which has proved to be her most popular track to date, showcasing the sound she has continued to build on from that point forward. Further pursuing this sound on her newest project, the 7-track EP ‘bliss’, she continues to find her footing; it’s slower, dreamier, druggier, and more cohesive than ever.
The EP kicks off with the track “Home”, featuring a verse from fellow Seraphim rapper/producer Eturnity, the lone feature on the project. One of the more downtempo cuts on the record, yeah0k! comes in with her familiar slightly-slurred delivery– her flow is as catchy as ever, surrounded by reverb-heavy harmonies over a plugg-influenced instrumental by producers Remghost & EJ. Yeah0k!’s captivating hook and melancholic verse on this song call back to old memories with lost friends alongside new feelings and desires, evoking feelings of nostalgia, wondering what might have been with someone she knew before and what has weighed on her since. Eturnity has the longest verse on the song, touching on numbness brought on by chasing highs (“I can’t feel the love I could / I’m tryna get so high, we could”), before finally tying back into the reminiscent themes of the verse prior. The bridge is hypnotic, with yeah0k!’s vocals enveloped in a cloud of reverb over a barebones section of the beat, falling back into one last repetition of the chorus before ‘Home’ concludes.
On the second track, ‘feel it all’, yeah0k! provides her signature catchy brand of songwriting and pillow-soft delivery over a catchy trap instrumental produced by remghost, tgwog, and Firemane. In contrast with ‘Home’ and several other songs on the EP, this is a more uptempo track, her airy vocals gliding over glitzy keys and a stripped-down drum pattern. Themes of drug use and the excitement of new romance make their way through almost every track on this project, but through an array of earworm flows, creative songwriting, and tasteful production, ‘bliss’ never falls into the trap of repetitiveness that upcoming artists in the scene tend to find themselves in. Her self-expression is both unique and touching, and each song provides a different glimpse into where she’s at and where she’s been in her life.
A lovely electric piano melody kicks off the next song on the EP, titled ‘jus how it was’. Produced by Apartment9 and Dias6k, her catchy flow dances over the hard-hitting trap drums, each line delivered in short but effective bursts. Yeah0k!’s delivery is clearer than ever, which only serves to benefit the track, her ethereal vocals fitting like a glove over the bright instrumental. The cohesion of the lyrical themes on this record are perhaps best embodied by the last couplet on the hook (“I just keep the drugs up in my pocket, how it was / And I just keep the love up in my heart, just how it was”). The 48-second ‘k’ is the shortest song on the project, a self-produced cut with a hypnotic hi-hat pattern and ambient melody. Her delivery is a bit slurred but effective for the song, the first bars referencing the apathy felt during the onset of a ketamine high– it sounds like it, but that’s not at all to the detriment of the song.
Bright keys, soft pads, and rapid hi-hats are our first glimpse into ‘Free Fall’, another tgwog-produced track on the EP. The tempo shifts back and forth between sections of the song, particularly in the latter half, offering periods of relief from the tension of the uptempo chorus and verse. Yeah0k! really shines on this song– strong melodies and delivery, stacked vocals during the chorus that never feel too crowded, and personal lyrics that dive more than ever into the pitfalls of drug use and the dark periods that the artist has found herself in the months leading up to this project. The following song, ‘Ghost’, once again features remghost on production as well as frequent collaborator Keyblayde808. The artist’s delivery and flow is softer and drawn-out, calling back to songs on the record like ‘k’ and ‘Home’. The ambient melody and muted drums come together to provide the perfect bed of instrumentation for Yeah0k!’s performance– while it consists of a twice-repeated short verse, ‘Ghost’ doesn’t overstay it’s welcome due to the brevity of the track, coming in at just over a minute long.
The closer ‘onn repeat’ features some of the brightest production on the EP, courtesy of the producer st1cks. The melody is heartwarming, familiar trap drums with a chaotic yet catchy hi-hat pattern sitting faintly underneath. The chorus is lovely– yeah0k!’s talents as a songwriter shine the most in these ethereal, upbeat songs, always managing to find the most memorable pockets in the beat. The stacked vocals and chops complete the song, with the artist providing earworm vocal harmonies and melodic runs throughout the entirety of the track. Much of this is possible due to the masterful engineering by yeah0k!, with every element of the song sitting perfectly in the mix. One of my favorite displays of this is in the bridge, with glitchy vocal chops falling in and out of the beat as it slows down and fades out, giving the illusion that the song is ending before reaching the final repetition of the hook.
Rapper and producer yeah0k!’s latest project, ‘bliss’, is a master class in pop- and plugg-influenced hip-hop, weaving her influences together in an exceptionally unique way while continuing to showcase her strong sense of originality. While her music under the yeah0k! moniker throughout any style she’s pursued has been impressive, her recent releases have truly given meaning to the ‘blisspop’ tag that hangs over this latest drop, as she and the rest of the Seraphim collective continue to find their own sound and space within the underground. With the catchiness of her songwriting, the masterful production she both provides and enlists from peers, and the dedication of her fast-growing fanbase, I see yeah0k! and Seraphim becoming top names in the underground and wider musical world in the months and years to come.
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- xoarctic (@xoxoarctic)