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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Sideline O Spotlight: Slee


Yung Slee, more closely known by fans as “Slee,” is a rising rapper/singer who broadcasts his consistent releases exclusively to a SoundCloud audience that has pushed many of his singles above one thousand listens. While 1,000 streams aren’t much compared to what’s coming up on your average “What’s Hot” Spotify playlist, it is a solid base for a solo talent who self-advertises through his personal Facebook page.

After a quick look at his SoundCloud history, it’s clear that music making is a full-time job for Slee — made even more impressive by the fact that he’s balancing his artistic passion with the workload of a political science major at Stanford University. If there’s one thing he has, it’s determination — a crucial trait in the treacherous path to success in the music industry.

Yung Slee got his start to making music two summers ago after friends pushed him to recording once they heard his natural talent for freestyling. Slee says his love of poetry from a young age naturally developed into other forms of art, so being a clever freestyler was an easy next step.

Slee’s first music came in November 2017, with “Wavy Ting.” The track bears strong influence from Drake — this was not too long after Drake’s Caribbean/dance hall phase that reached millions on More Life. While the song is exciting as a debut, it leaves listeners wanting more, which he did on his first EP, Chit Chat. The EP is opened with “Time,” a contemplative track with spacious, brooding production, allowing for Slee to navigate his passion.

Fast-forward to 2019, and we’ve seen a clear development of Slee’s work. A constant energy directed towards creative output has allowed the rapper to hone in on his craft, closing in on preferred styles and strengths. His love of wordplay is in full effect as he both engages with and satirizes the tropes of modern pop-rap, and his attention to detail in the production process is obvious. His musical personality came together throughout 2018, culminating in plenty of new music, but especially seen in the songs “Lost the Key,” and “WiFi.”

The tracks are special to the DMV native, representing a true evolution of style. While his influences aren’t gone, the track is more central to the kind of music he’s looking to be making. “Lost the Key,” is perhaps Slee’s best song, as he flows over a bumping beat about how “she lost the key to my heart.” His verses end in stuttering, an effect that illustrates the anxiety of relationship uncertainty.

Currently, Slee is studying abroad in London, creating music in a new environment — and it is  changing the way he approaches music, yet again. He’s looking to make music from a house/EDM perspective, citing Flume as his biggest influence, but the opportunity to be in the UK and listen to such a wide variety has fueled his interest in the genres. Follow Slee on SoundCloud to stay up to date with all of his new releases!

-Michael Gorman

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