unsigned hype

Track Review: Adrian Gamboa – “You Pt. II” ft. Dani Rae Vaughn

Last week, 23-year-old southern California rapper Adrian Gamboa dropped the music video for his single titled “You Pt. II.” Set on an idyllic L.A. day, the visuals closely follow the story Gamboa tells through his verses: the story of a good relationship that came to an end. Through sharp cinematography and impressive aerial shots, the viewer watches as a downtrodden Gamboa reaches out to his ex-girlfriend and slowly makes his way towards her as he reminisces about the best and worst elements of their past. From a purely visual standpoint, it is a well-executed short film.

The instrumental features a sunny, easygoing beat that lay underneath a sweet guitar lick that reminds me of Frusciante era Chili Peppers. Gamboa spits with a commanding, emotional tone to match the lyrical content and flows smoothly over the track. Guest singer Dani Rae Vaughn is certainly a highlight; her strong vocals add a lot to the song, and her harmonies with Gamboa go over pretty well. Perhaps the most striking characteristic of “You Pt. II” is the use of samples. The hook features Gamboa and Vaughn as they assign new lyrics to the unforgettable chorus of Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together.” An even bigger surprise comes at the bridge when the duo harmonizes the hook to one of the biggest hits in the John Frusciante catalog, RHCP’s “Under the Bridge.” Although the story behind Anthony Kiedis’ confessional does not exactly align with that behind “You Pt. II,” the sample effectively carries the forlorn character of the track before Gamboa and Vaughn close with the last hook.

Despite the story in the lyrics, the relaxed instrumental and natural vocal harmonies make “You Pt. II” an enjoyable showcase of California pop rap.

About Author

I am an economics student at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. Beyond my studies, I work as a DJ at the university radio station: 91.1 FM WMUA Amherst. Back in July, a good friend of mine launched a political debate website called The Dialectic, where I currently work as a staff writer and the Editor-In-Chief. I love all genres of music - everything from hip-hop to post-rock to hardcore punk. Aspiring writer. Avid reader. Coffee addict.