In pop music, it’s important to try out different tempos and speeds to find where your niche is as a performer, and it would appear that Teenear has found something that fits marvelously well in the new single and music video “Ain’t Mine” this month. Where a lot of her contemporaries have been content to recycle some of the same themes we’ve seen time and again in hip-hop and R&B over the past few years, Teenear is going out on a limb with a loose beat in this performance and making everything center on her vocal dynamic (which is quite literally as hot as they come, in my opinion).
There’s no rush toward the climax in “Ain’t Mine,” but instead a rather patient swell that starts in the bass and spreads to the percussion and the lead vocal before we ever get a grasp on where this beat is about to take us. This is, of course, all a part of Teenear’s plan to seduce us with the elements surrounding her vocal, and as the rhythm creates a vacuum effect for her verses, there’s no escaping the grip of the narrative she’s forming.
I’ve found a lot of new pop music coming out of the R&B underground to be exceptional in 2022, especially compared to the insular content that came out of the pandemic-era indie circuit over the past two years, and Teenear has something really special on her hands with “Ain’t Mine.” She’s exposed emotionally in this performance, but she’s also delivering a hard-hitting vocal that shows confidence and charisma the likes of which scores of rivals only dream of possessing when they get into the studio to make new music. Top to bottom, this is a player who has earned her place in the underground spotlight for sure.