Rod Wave knows exactly who he is. “I got skills in other things, but rich off rapping pain,” he admits in the title track from his third album, SoulFly. That title contains multitudes in that Wave’s music obviously comes from his soul, and he is objectively fly, and then there is the fact that he’s continuously singing about the time after his eventual passing when his soul can actually fly free. In fact, Wave is remarkably productive for someone who’d have you believe he’s constantly in the throes of anguish. (The singer has released at least one project a year since 2016’s Hunger Games, amassing a fanbase whose penchant for making jokes about the glumness of his music is dwarfed only by their dedication to streaming it.) “If you can’t feel my pain, this ain’t for you anyways,” Wave sings on “Don’t Forget.” You’d think that the hard times he saw as a child, the constant betrayals he’d know as an adult, or the pressure he’s under as his family’s breadwinner might actually come close to breaking him, but Wave sounds like he is in a better space than he’s been in a long time. “I just be telling ’bout my pain,” he says on “Calling.” “I just be thinking, reminiscing ’bout that shit/I numb the pain with the money/I don’t feel pain, too much money.”

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