The profusion of music year end lists could cause new releases to get caught in an end of year limbo, caught between listeners recalling the best album of the year and underrated gems. As I did my best to avoid said lists, I came upon a friends feed that despite having year end vibes, did include a new release from Torrence, CA based Rae Khalil. A screenshot of Khalil’s album, Girlfriend with a bold red arrow pointing to the album with the aligned text, “Deez.RITE.HEAR” was enough for me to do a little Googling for more information that led me to “Sunrise”.

If you can’t get enough of one Rae, how about three?


The muted introduction slowly builds into a double bass beat with Khalil tenderly proclaiming feelings for the subject of her affection. A steady groove, Khalil rides the beat, even declaring so shortly after a refrain. Some could characterize Khalil’s breathy notes with Jared Rubens’ production as reminiscent of “Golden Era” Hip-Hop. Jazz and soul influence, fun witty lyrics and bass drums that keep ones head in a perpetual state of nodding. Features that should draw many a Hip-Hop head to give “Sunrise” a listen.

Khalil officiates a union between r&b and soul vocal techniques and Hip-Hop bars and they make a perfect pair. The light tickling of keys interspersed throughout the track give an added touch of whimsy. But don’t be misguided, rough edges and lo-fi production root “Sunrise” in Hip-Hop territory with lyrics to go. The final verse gives more time for Khalil to showcase her skill and style and simply stunt because honestly, what is a good Hip-Hop joint without a bit of bravado. Khalil interjects on the last verse, ‘I’m a Cadillac, you a Scion/I’m classic, you tired’.

Despite exhibiting patterns and style that old heads will love, Khalil is in her own lane, bringing her own unique perspective and experience to the masses. Her personification of the Southern California laid back steez is still all her own. Khalil gives something Hip-Hop heads old and new can appreciate.

Rae Khalil’s Latest Release Girlfriend

Although “Sunrise” is not on Khalil’s latest release Girlfriend, it serves as proper introduction to the rising artist’s talent. I for one look forward to putting her latest album into heavy rotation this year.

Check out Rae’s album, Girlfriend on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Tidal.

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