Lemon Cars - EP

Lemon Cars - EP

Coi Leray can buy herself flowers. Too busy amassing mind-boggling streaming numbers or playing the biggest festivals in the world, the Jersey-bred rapper and singer doesn’t often pause to ponder lames who might invade her headspace. But behind her trademark massive hooks and viral smashes, a more vulnerable side to Leray’s artistry has been rumbling to life in the years since her 2018 breakout hit “G.A.N.” On Lemon Cars, the softer supporting harmonies that resonated on tracks like 2023’s “Come and Go” become central refrains, and Leray’s weakest moments become her strengths. From the hoarsely whispered rejection that drives “Can’t Come Back” to the sweet dreams she conjures on closer “Poster Girl,” this raw EP finds Leray deep in her bag and begging, “Come sweep me off my feet.” Where her last full-length, 2023’s COI, burst with big flexes and classic samples, Lemon Cars strips back the player-girl armor to reveal a young woman still healing from heartbreaks and hard times. Driving until the sun peeks over the horizon, partying until being unstoppable feels a lot like being stuck, longing until she’s lost in it: Leray faces it all over bittersweet fingerpicked guitar licks and undulating 808s. Her accomplishments aren’t what hold her close at night, and Leray beckons to lovers as boldly as she kicks them to the curb across these six tracks, each one a postcard from the edge of superstardom. Lemon Cars isn’t all teary eyes, exit signs, and escape routes, though. The Skilla Baby-featuring “Coke Bottle Body” is Leray at her most charismatic and carefree. Setting aside some of her struggles for a moment, Leray dances the night away on the penultimate track, confident she’s not just a trendsetter—she’s the trendsetter. As she puts it, “When I walk in, set the tone.”

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