Retro Nicotine is a 19 year old independent artist from Illinois, who is currently making Emo Pop and Alternative Hip/hop music. sleep333 (also known as Lil sleep) is a 24 year old independent artist from California. They frequently collaborate, and can he heard together on the single, “allmyfriendswantmedead!” (ft. Sleep333). Understated in its delivery yet resplendent in its execution, this is arguably an absolute highlight in Retro Nicotine’s growing catalog; its crossover nature allowing every nuance, both emotional and otherwise, to really stand out.
At the core, Retro Nicotine is an emo artist in the truest sense of the word. And this single certainly feels like an emo track. It’s personal yet resonates massively, it’s introspective while harboring bombast in equal measure. It succeeds in bringing a 90s aesthetic kicking and screaming into the 21st century, shedding the nostalgia in favor of contemporary pop and rap pomp, all delivered with heart-on-sleeve lyricism.
“allmyfriendswantmedead!” (ft. Sleep333) provides a mouthpiece for the underdogs, the underappreciated and the unassuming. The song infuses the working combination of power pop chords, rock guitar and earnest vocals. This is a track that builds on energy and emotion, it gives focus to the instruments and rhythm but not at the expense of the lyrics and the message of the song.
In fact, any time that I try to pinpoint Retro Nicotine’s core essence – or what enables him to hold my interest – my answer typically comes back to the emotion behind the music. His material is very catchy, sure, but that’s what wins over ears – not hearts. It’s the emo narrative that eventually ropes you in completely. Retro Nicotine’s vivid lyrics is what will help cement his brand.
For all its melodic catchiness, “allmyfriendswantmedead!” (ft. Sleep333) has a thoughtful urgency to it that helps to propel the track’s momentum. This informs why much of the record sounds like a solid framework; you have your guitars, drums, and vocal hooks – and any unnecessary embellishments were sacrificed in order to maintain a certain level of straightforward rawness. It’s the kind of song that should become an instant classic live.
Everything on this single seems to come from a place of honesty – and Retro Nicotine’s authenticity can be felt throughout the core of the song. He creates the kind of music that sounds like it was written for late night drives or for sitting upon the balcony, while trying to piece together exactly what life means to you at that precise moment.
“All my friends they want me dead. And I just wanna get out of my head. And all I really want is this pain to end. Broke, down bad, with the 40 to my head,” showcases confessional-style lyrics delivered in a heightened state of emotional awareness atop a driving instrumental atmosphere.
No matter how you interpret it personally, it’s a very powerful song. Retro Nicotine and sleep333 know how to generate and craft a great track, but most importantly, they demonstrate a keen sense for how to connect with an audience.
Connect with Retro Nicotine on INSTAGRAM
Connect with sleep333 on INSTAGRAM