Disclaimer: I’ve probably listened to the various radio/mix rips and live recordings of “Billboard” over one hundred times since Rustie debuted it in April. Just sayin’.
From the opening proclamation of “oh check this out”, S-Type makes his intentions clear for the Billboard EP. He will take no prisoners. He will push the volume into the red. He will not short you on bombast. His drums will crack. His synths will be crisp. And most importantly, he is the heir apparent to the LuckyMe throne. 25-year-old Bobby Perman has been releasing music since 2005, but it wasn’t until Rustie premiered “Billboard” back in April that people really started paying attention. And I mean really as in turn your head, let your jaw drop and stare.
What S-Type does with “Billboard” is truly remarkable in its conventionalism. The Glasgow-based producer uses a tried and true mold of huge Southern hip hop and essentially does it better than anyone else and the result is a song of the year candidate. Similar to what DJ Toomp did way back in ’06 with T.I.’s “What You Know”, Perman has gone bigger, badder and better than everyone else.
Amidst all of the hysteria over the melding of hip hop and dance music, “Billboard” manages to be immensely danceable without pandering to the “EDM”/Mixmag crowd. That means no dubstep-like buildups, a cool 99 BPM, and most importantly, no moombahton synth stabs! You thought it was impossible, but with a chord progression as infectious as “Billboard”, the world might as well have been turned upside down.
Perman could have easily churned out two or three more mediocre tracks within the same format as “Billboard” and had a success EP, but he admirably didn’t rest on his laurels The remaining five songs, while all similar to “Billboard” in their bombast, , mix the melodrama of radio R&B, smooth Egyptian Lover-esque electro and modern dance tropes. The result is something like Rustie’s seminal Glass Swords, although songs like “You Da Best” and “Walrus” lack the chaotic precision of the modern day classic.
In the end, Billboard is a collection of six huge hip hop instrumentals that are just aching to be rapped over. It’s no surprise that an A$AP Mob collaboration is in the works and I would expect the masses to follow. In the meantime, pump “Billboard” and “You Da Best” the next time you’re working out and/or getting hyped for just about anything. It’s clear that S-Type is going places and while he might not have the dexterity of a Hudson Mohawke (at this point), he knows how to craft a banger and sometimes that’s all you can ask for.