14 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When “Bodak Yellow” came out in 2017, it changed the lives of not one but two New York City-bred Dominican-American women. There is of course Cardi B, but also Melii, the then-19-year-old East Harlem native whose inventive cover—the first half of the song was transformed into a sultry R&B ballad—led to a deal with Interscope. Her phAses album, named for its creator’s continuously shifting moods and inspirations, is likewise a showcase of Melii’s many abilities. She raps and sings in almost equal measure, varying her delivery across the whole of the project. Topically, she’s got women's empowerment anthems in “False Signal,” “Pretty Girls,” and “See Me,” but she gets a little more vulnerable on songs like “Mister” and “HML.” “Copy” is all fiery bar work, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone talking tougher than the young star on “Gangsta Talk.” In all, phAses presents an artist with a lot of versatility—both in the type of music she makes and in the ways she gets her message across.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When “Bodak Yellow” came out in 2017, it changed the lives of not one but two New York City-bred Dominican-American women. There is of course Cardi B, but also Melii, the then-19-year-old East Harlem native whose inventive cover—the first half of the song was transformed into a sultry R&B ballad—led to a deal with Interscope. Her phAses album, named for its creator’s continuously shifting moods and inspirations, is likewise a showcase of Melii’s many abilities. She raps and sings in almost equal measure, varying her delivery across the whole of the project. Topically, she’s got women's empowerment anthems in “False Signal,” “Pretty Girls,” and “See Me,” but she gets a little more vulnerable on songs like “Mister” and “HML.” “Copy” is all fiery bar work, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone talking tougher than the young star on “Gangsta Talk.” In all, phAses presents an artist with a lot of versatility—both in the type of music she makes and in the ways she gets her message across.

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