1(800)HIT-EAZY: Line 2
On 2021’s 1-800-HIT-EAZY, R&B singer-songwriter Eric Bellinger’s first collaborative tape with rapper turned can’t-miss producer Hitmaka, Bellinger reminded potential collaborators that he’s got more hits than he knows what to do with. On that tape’s sequel, 1(800)HIT-EAZY: Line 2, the man some might call R&B music’s not-so-secret weapon wants those same collaborators to know the number hasn’t changed and there’s plenty more where those came from. Hitmaka cracked something of a cheat code sometime in the late 2010s, refurbishing older, underappreciated R&B hits to create new songs that at once maintained the energy of their samples and modernized the vibe to satisfy younger listeners unfamiliar with the reference material. (See Wale’s “Angles,” Wiz Khalifa’s “Something New,” or 2 Chainz’s “Rule the World.”) He does this for Bellinger on “Curious,” but it’s not a crutch a talent like Bellinger needs, having written hit songs for some of the most celebrated names in R&B, like Usher, Chris Brown, and Trey Songz. Let 1(800)HIT-EAZY: Line 2 be yet another reminder, then, that one of the greatest minds of contemporary R&B is still just a phone call away.