Hybrid genres throughout the hip-hop aesthetic have been picking up a lot of steam in the past seven years especially, and while the trend is intriguing to follow, there’s something special about an OG purist like Wellingta. Wellingta doesn’t try and front a lot of emotional lyricism in place of actual linguistic talent – instead, she’s all about setting up a swift beat and letting her execution do the talking for her. Her new single “No Goodbyes” has critics and fans abuzz, and after giving it a close listen the other day, I can understand what the hype has been about. There’s a lot of substance here, and it doesn’t take much to grasp that right from the beginning of the track.
One of the most common complaints I have about the new hip-hop I come across on the mainstream level is over-the-top lyrical structures, but that’s not an issue in this single. “No Goodbyes” has a simplistic, pop-style construction that doesn’t translate as overly straightforward mostly because of the emotion that Wellingta affords her verses. She’s not singing anything particularly poetic, but it’s the way she’s putting words on music that leaves me feeling like I’m listening to an artist on the come-up rather than another poser trying to fit in.
The rhythm here is spot-on for the vocal, and I like that Wellingta isn’t pasting beats together with basslines but instead creating an organic groove. She’s got plenty of space here to be a little indulgent with her voice, but she refrains as to give the percussion enough room to kick the bass in the pants when it matters the most. She’s a thoughtful songwriter and arranger who isn’t looking to take the shortcuts a lot of others do in the studio, and that makes me curious to hear what she’s going to do with this talent next.
This mix is well-balanced but not quite as sharp as it could have been, which isn’t so much a criticism of the style as it is an acknowledgment of the growth Wellingta still has in front of her. her is essentially an aesthetic that was made for the stage, but she’s breaking it down for the four walls of a recording studio rather well here – even if she is abandoning some pop varnish in the name of preserving her unforced artistic integrity.
This is someone I expect to see on the mainstream element soon, and the creative optimism showcased here is the reason why.
I had not heard Wellingta’s music before checking out this single, but I think I’ve got a good enough idea of who she is to call her sound worthy of keeping tabs on. “No Goodbyes” feels like a blueprint, and even if it is a little rough around the edges, it still gives us everything we need to know about Wellingta inside of a neat and condensed package. She’s a player who values the old-school rules but hits a verse like a new school ripper, and her skillset is going to bring her a lot of accolades in 2023.