ALBUM PREMIERE: YUNG STUDENT LOANS “I STAY LONELY (A TRUE ROMANCE)”
‘Payback is a bitch’ —Sallie Mae, probably
Yung Student Loans is K-Town’s most enigmatic rapper, making music entirely in a vacuum—trap-meets-emo-meets-Sleepy Brown. I Stay Lonely (A True Romance) is a very sad album about scorned love, delivered through a veneer of soft-sarcasm. The project practically screams ‘You can’t hurt me! I already hurt myself!’ Those words aren’t used at any point in this album, but they so easily could be.
‘Curmudgeon’ is a standout track with an insidiously catchy hook doused in sirens and sinewy sub bass. Featuring bi-coastal sonic pioneer Elete, this too-short jam packs a lot of feeling into two minutes: ‘Call me up if you got a man / call me up if he’s never home / call me up cause let’s be honest / you ain’t got no one else to call.’
The spry R&B jam ‘Confessions of a Dreamer (I’ve Romanticized you for 2 Long)’ kicks off with a figure deeply-inspired by Usher’s ‘Nice and Slow.’ (I can hear his lawyers circling now.) One poignant moment in another blink-and-you-missed-it song is Mr. Loans’ lament that ‘These days I feel a lot of distance’ and then intentionally unintelligible garbling—swallowing his feelings whole.
There are bedroom albums, and then there are projects made entirely in someone’s mind with the detritus of broken relationships and booming basslines giving substance to the sordid thoughts most of us keep in our drafts. Loans’ was lonely before it was cool—or mandated—and this record just might serve as a blueprint to processing all the big sad energy kicking around your wine-and-Cheeto-dust-covered bedroom. Bump this record, go with God.