Snow tha Product – Half Way There… Pt. 1 EP

Snow tha Product, bilingual female rapper affiliated with rap veteran Tech N9ne’s independent label Strange Music, capitalizes on her steadily rising popularity with the release of a short and to the point 8-track EP. Previously identifiable by her rapid-fire flow, she dials back the energy on this project to fall more in line with the surging wave of Weeknd-esque alt-R&B music coursing through the frameworks of popular music at the moment. Unfortunately, for an artist who possesses so many interesting points of individuality, this imitation does not do her a great justice – though it may open up a new lane of success for her in the future. A very rare occurrence in the past, Snow sings on about half of these tracks, many of which end up being better than her lacklustre and toned down raps.

This project ultimately falters because it showcases to the listener the great potential that Snow has, shown in her previous work on feature verses such as Tech N9ne’s “So Dope (They Wanna)”, and yet ultimately delivers a project which underwhelms, settling for mediocrity instead of going the extra mile which is displayed for a few fleeting moments. 2 of the 8 tracks on this EP are brief, introspective interludes mainly regarding Snow’s place in the chaos of the music industry, each standing at under a minute. If these were made into full songs, they would easily overshoot every other song here. They stand as a microcosm for the full project in this way, moments of excitement that are over just as they were getting started.

The EP opens with “No Cut”, in which Snow’s flow, sounding much lazier than it has in the past, is layered over a bland and recycled trap beat, and interlaced with multiple interviews of label heads and other powers in the industry lamenting that they overlooked Snow’s talents for too long. The fact that she included these on the opening track would be much more interesting if the music were better – I can identify a few of these interviews as being from a few years ago due to the events referenced, a time when their words made a lot more sense due to the better product she was creating. The fact that Snow included a song – “Nuestra Cancion” – which is entirely in Spanish comes across the same way. I wanted to enjoy the song because its existence is interesting, but it pales in comparison to her other work as well as the standout tracks here.

Opening single “Nights”, on the other hand, is the kind of song that vaults someone to superstardom. Forgoing her menacing rhymes for a surprisingly pleasant singing voice complemented by featured artist W. Darling’s soaring chorus, the R&B tinged pop jam sounds like what might happen if a significantly more talented Nicki Minaj and a significantly more talented DJ Mustard got together. “Not Tonight”, the closing track, brings the energetic bars that I have come to know from Snow in the past, although assisted heavily by an EDM-influenced synth line taking up most of the space in the chorus. These two standout tracks rise clearly above the rest and demonstrate the potential that Snow truly has.

 Snow with”So Dope” collaborators Tech N9ne, Wrekonize and Twisted Insane

The biggest problem here, as with many rising artists, may be the personnel. The production here is generally quite weak and formulaic, and the featured artists, with the exception of W. Darling, detract more than anything else. As she gains followers in the coming years – as she is quite sure to – I hope she is surrounded by an improved collective of creative people who will assist her in achieving the balance many artists seek: display of the talent that many know she has on a commercially viable backdrop. This latter aspect was ultimately focused on too much here.

Favorite Tracks: Nights, Not Tonight

Least Favorite Track: No Cut

Score: 4/10

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