Nashville’s iNTRO is Re-Introducing his Floaty Raps and Positivist Aesthetic with New EP, ‘GIRLS’
Evan Dale // Aug 10, 2023
Like watercolor bleeding across the page, swirling, repetitive synth strokes and a quick drum pattern coalesce with the dynamic flow of iNTRO, who, at the onset of DREAM GIRL, is re-introducing listeners to his fast-paced, floaty raps in the introduction of his first project in years: GIRLS (this is not about you). It’s only a three-pack and comes in well under 10 minutes, but the EP is one that nonetheless acts as a dynamic glimpse into the old-school roots, new-school experimentalist, fun-loving nature of a lyricist and vocalist that has for years painted with a one-of-a-kind brush. And starting with opener, DREAM GIRL, he proves his artistry focused on building up what he laid as foundation with last project, 2021’s Welcome To Next Year. Where then, he operated much more broadly, weaving through the half-hour long project with wide opportunities to slow down and take on new sounds, here he’s hyper-intentional with his sonic spaces.
Parading across all three tracks with what has become a signature upbeat flow, halfway reminiscent of a kinder 90’s, and halfway only incomparably him, infusing punches of vocal swing to emphasize the end of each bar, iNTRO draws his soundscape in an especially summery direction. Fun-loving and emotionally-intuitive, he carries his trio of new tracks into cohesive, seasonal anthemity, all the while painting vivid stories that feel relatable and well-grounded in the pursuit of love and lust. Coalescence from the project’s beginning to its end is owed partly to iNTRO’s steadfast aesthetic, and partly yet to the surprising connective tissue between the three-pack’s trio of fellow Nashvillian producers: JORDAN Xx, Jack Vinoy, and $hrames who, respectively, sign DREAM GIRL, FEELING, and FROM YOUR MAN. With an air of distinguishable ubiquity to each, GIRLS comes together as a very focused exhibition of a seeming iNTRO sweet spot.
DREAM GIRL tees up the project with its protagonist searching for air at the end of a lightning-fast, long opening verse, before giving way to an instructional hook and chord-strewn breakdown that brings some reprieve to anyone listening. FEELING rides a melody-fueled beat into golden hour, where iNTRO falls deep into his emotional bag of poeticism, before trotting along with a sing-songy chorus. And FROM YOUR MAN, bleeding with some old-school synth strokes, allows iNTRO the time and space to fully imbibe his most lustful daydreams.
Regardless of subject matter in any given verse, the omnipresence of iNTRO’s lovestruck thematics, signature flow, and cohesive warm weather production carries a positivist, anthemic texture across GIRLS, fit for summertime, and well beyond. But with a sharpened, deeper sense of lyricism, head-nodding hooks that stay aligned with the fast-paced flow of the album at large, and the dynamic depth of three of Nashville’s hip-hop and soul scene’s most influential names, iNTRO is well beyond the more experimentally playful space he inhabited a couple years ago.