R&B is having a moment. New artists such as SZA, Khalid, Summer Walker, and Ella Mai are redefining and uplifting the genre in today’s new music landscape. Soon, I think we can add Rashad Leamount to that list.
With his new single, “Snakes + Ladders,” Leamount offers a slinky blend of reggae-inflected and trap-infused R&B. His malleable voice shifts between a quick rap-singing delivery and classic R&B crooning that makes ample use of his husky yet smooth falsetto. Lyrically, Leamount delivers a sermon on loyalty and originality that is particularly timely in a society where so many people spend their lives imitating someone else. “Bitches preach at me, biblical / then waver on their principles” is a standout lyric; it’s hard to make these themes feel new and fresh but Leamount achieves this on “Snakes + Ladders.”
The greatest achievement of “Snakes + Ladders” is its refusal to fall victim to monotony. Leamount expertly shifts through each section of the song, assisted by his silky voice and excellent production. With strong vocal arrangements and lyricism, keep your eyes (and ears) open for more Rashad Leamount.
Listen to “Snakes + Ladders” here.