Review: HoodCelebrityy Can't Match 'Walking Trophy' on New EP 'Inna Real Life' - Rolling Stone
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Review: HoodCelebrityy Can’t Match ‘Walking Trophy’ on New EP ‘Inna Real Life’

The Jamaican-born, New York City-based dancehall singer releases an uneven major-label debut.


Dennis Leupold

If you spent any time in the Northeast this summer, it’s likely that you heard HoodCelebrityy’s “Walking Trophy,” which was a favorite of radio DJs. The track helped this Jamaica-born, New York City-based singer and occasional rapper earn a deal with Epic Records for a reported $600,000, and on Friday, she released Inna Real Life, her first EP as a major-label artist.

“Walking Trophy” was a self-esteem booster, and the bobbing synths and skipping beat — very similar to her 2017 track “Cut Them Off” — went down smoothly, offering a welcome relief from formulaic radio rap. Inna Real Life takes its cues from “Walking Trophy,” emphasizing innocuous melody, though nothing rivals the singer’s breakout hit. “Live Life” is a spend-your-way-to-happiness number with echoes of Gyptian’s dancehall smash “Hold Yuh.” “Get Low” pushes HoodCelebrityy into rote R&B. And on the EP’s title track, HoodCelebrityy lets her listeners know that major-label life ain’t half bad: “I been getting money when I feel like/ … Bitch, I’m really poppin’, this is not a hype.”

Inna Real Life arrived just a few days before New York City’s annual West Indian Day Parade, conveniently providing DJs with a new infusion of HoodCelebrityy music for their playlists. But the most interesting HoodCelebrityy song of the year isn’t on this EP. That honor goes to “Love Lost,” a grief-stricken duet with Josh X about a sex-less relationship that borrows from a pair of Nineties classics, Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry” and Mad Cobra’s “Flex.” There’s specificity and urgency in “Love Lost,” qualities that are missing on Inna Real Life.

In This Article: dancehall


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