Nov 14, 2018

We take a deeper dive into Khalid’s latest project.


by ASadler


One could make the case that R&B sensation Khalid was on the clock around the time he dropped seven-track EP Suncity. The El Paso, Texas native first broke onto the scene in 2016 with the smash single “Location” and has since maintained relevance through a bevy of features within various genres. Even in today’s fast-moving market where one’s success is heavily weighed by the performance and frequency of singles they are a part of, being able to create a solid project is what sets elite artists apart from good artists.

Khalid has delivered countless enjoyable features since the March 2017 release of his debut album American Teen such as “Love Lies,” “Rollin’,” “This Way,” etc. It was getting to be time for another original collection of sorts. Suncity is an attempt by the 20 year old to capture all he has done with other artists onto his own project. With the knowledge he is working on a follow-up to American Teen due out in early 2019, he wasn’t expected to release anything long and he operated accordingly. Each song over the 21-minute span is distinct, with two not actually being conventional songs at all.

“Better” is a Hip-Hop-R&B hybrid about secret lovers whose passion seems to extend beyond casual intimacy. He’s got a certain swagger to himself here though there’s also a sense of yearning. He knows how he makes the girl feel, but he can’t deny how she makes him feel either. “Suncity” is an experimental funky Latin track featuring Empress Of and her silky vocals. The track suggests the two escape to his hometown of El Paso, Texas where he can truly give all of his love.

“Motion” is the slight flex where the young guy shows he can really go there with the falsetto. It may not necessarily be a standout song, but his efforts are worth the remark. “Saturday Nights” is a guitar ballad ode to a stripper who is working hard to afford what she would like to do later on in life. Slightly out of character for Khalid but it is an endearing cut nonetheless.

The EP was solid overall. It wasn’t groundbreaking, and for all we know it wasn’t intended to be. With an album on the way, Khalid had the flexibility to either take risks or be conservative. However, the forthcoming album does not exempt him from critique regardless of the direction he went with the EP. There were strong moments but definitely a lingering desire for more.

Khalid doesn’t seem to be falling out of music listeners’ good graces just yet, but it doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there. His strong burst onto the scene and consistent work on singles has given him a load of credibility as an artist, and this next album can really solidify things. Suncity was good, and a decent-sized appetizer before the full entree comes out. The hope is that it is not foreshadowing of what is to come for Khalid’s future work.

Stream Suncity below.