Buddy Ryan is a Melbourne hip hop artist that combines his passion for rapping with his appreciation for soul music. The Connecticut-born lyricist honed his craft in Los Angeles while emceeing through his college years. With influences ranging from rappers like Jadakiss and Nass, to pop and indie artists like Coldplay and Angus and Julia Stone, his 2017 EP Grey debuted a downbeat and reserved musical style. Now in 2019, he has returned with the first single of his upcoming sophomore EP. ‘Bad Feelings’ takes two years of added experience to deliver an exciting taste of what’s to come.
Compared to the songs off 2017’s Grey, ‘Bad Feelings’ is noticeably more upbeat. While some songs, like the title track ‘Grey’, suited his softer and more emotional beats, the shift to a more energetic sound is a welcome breath of fresh air. The beat is solid, with a groovy keyboard melody layered over a subtle kick drum. With such a minimalist beat, all the attention falls on Buddy. The verses highlight how far Buddy has come in his short time as a recording artist, with an improved vocal flow complimenting his cautionary tale of karma. The narrative is clear, charged with the political frustrations of the African American community. While this is somewhat foreign to Melbourne, these feelings are genuine, authentic and real. The chorus is the track’s biggest strength. Experimenting with conventions of gospel music, the harmonised outcry of “I’ve got a bad feeling about it” is not only catchy but also uplifting. It gives the track its soul, grounding it in this larger than life sound.
On the meaning of ‘Bad Feeling’, Buddy states “The verse starts off talking about things that gives me bad feelings and then ends with a story about a dude named Keenan who came up and forgot about his squad but then soon gets confronted with karma. It’s kinda a song about karma and how real energy is.”