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Song You Need to Know: YNW Melly, ‘No Heart’

Pretty guitar-loop hip-hop from the ‘Murder on My Mind’ rapper

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YNW Melly released a new album, 'We All Shine,' on January 18.

Courtesy of YNW Melly

When YNW Melly released We All Shine earlier this month, listener attention was focused primarily on “Mixed Personalities” — the track featuring a high-profile guest turn from Kanye West. But the album’s standout is “No Heart,” a harsh, unfriendly, yet hyper-melodic track that furthers rap’s current obsession with liquid guitar loops. YNW Melly vows to break others’ hearts while protecting his own at all costs, but a cascade of soothing guitar softens his bite.

“No Heart” was produced by Z3N and Skip on the Beat. “I used to play guitar — I still do, but I’m not a great guitarist,” Z3N explains. “But I’ve always loved that sound, and you’re seeing it blend with hip-hop more and more: Juice Wrld, Lil Baby are really on that vibe. I’ve been making a lot of things in that style. I made that guitar line with a plug-in, just clicked all the notes in.”

Z3N presented the finished product to YNW Melly during a session last year. The guitar in the “No Heart” instrumental perked the rapper’s ears; it was the first track he recorded. “He walks in the booth and he cuts three or four different song to [the same beat], records the whole thing all the way through,” Z3N explains. “Then we go in and piece it together: Chop this part out, put this there, that part sounds like it could be a cool hook. It probably took two or three hours total.”

That was time well spent.

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