Aside from being a blossoming hip hop artist, Ramdin R. Constantine aka “Rommel tha Youngsta” is also an avid drum player since he was 10 years old. In addition, he picked up the piano about 4 years ago, while the guitar is the latest instrument that he is mastering. Having written poetry as a release method over the years, Rommel, the youngest member of the rap trio ‘ICESQUAD’, recently made the natural transition from poetry to song lyrics. Childhood adversity lends to the real life experiences that Rommel tha Youngsta incorporates into his lyrics, as he does his faith, which he freely expresses in his songs. His latest release is the single “They Don’t” produced by MOBSKIDS.
In an age where journalists are striving to taste-make and classify artists and genres, it feels inappropriate to categorize Rommel tha Youngsta — and even more dismissive to call his music hip-hop — but referring to Rommel tha Youngsta as a hip-hop artist may be the face-lift the genre needs. Rommel is one to embrace the non-traditional; he distinguishes himself within the hip-hop community as an outlying — yet essential — entity.
On his latest release, Rommel isolates himself from the confines of rap stigmas. In my opinion, few rappers ever manage to set the benchmark in rap music while challenging either coast inside of the genre quite this well. Simply put, “They Don’t” is an undeniably great record no matter what regional lens you use to view it.
The most striking and important aspect of “They Don’t” is how Rommel tha Youngsta annexes awareness and thoughtfulness. Throughout, both sonic and lyrical aberration allows the track to appropriately alter its appeal without straying from the narrative.
The evocative and inventive production complements Rommel’s rhymes, alternately adding an atmospheric sound or providing social commentary with a spiritual accent – sometimes both. Rommel raps with passion and his lyrics parallel many of the underground’s most outspoken voices.
However, where some artists are met with dismissal for cramming their ideals and sentiments towards society down our throats, Rommel tha Youngsta wisely distances his most thought-provoking and important lyrics in between his wildly energetic flow, making his points all the more hard-hitting.
Countless rappers claim to have transcended the game. Rommel tha Youngsta has the potential do just that. There’s a sense of ambition on “They Don’t”, reaching toward something more universal, fateful even spiritual in its quest to find the link tying all of life’s contradictions together.
On the track, Rommel tha Youngsta raps: “They don’t like it when you’re winning. They don’t like it when you’re different. They gonna tell me to calm down. I can’t calm down, I’m too driven. They don’t like it when you’re living. So I got to keep on living. I don’t got to justify myself to any man but God, so I keep on living.” There’s no need to spend hours unpacking what Rommel tha Youngsta really means because his spitting it right into your face.