Monaleo broke out in 2021 with Beating Down Yo Block, a bratty, booming observe that turned an abusive relationship into an exhilarating kiss-off. A 12 months later, the 21-year-old Texas rapper went TikTok-viral with We Not Humping, which featured some sublimely emasculating bars: “Get up, mister lick all over the place however the fuckin’ clit!” she teased.
The place the Flowers Don’t Die, Monaleo’s debut full-length, makes an attempt to point out off the multifaceted human behind these barbs, introducing earnest acoustic balladry amid extra prickly fare. It’s a wildly uneven journey, inducing a song-to-song sense of whiplash – from Sober Thoughts, a solemn piano ballad that interpolates Arctic Monkeys’ Do I Wanna Know?, to Ass Kickin’, which opens with Monaleo repeatedly yelling “Come right here, bitch! Lay down, hoe!” over an icy lure beat.
Though a few of Monaleo’s extra soul-baring lyricism may be cloying (“She’s obtained sufficient soul to save lots of a robotic,” she sings on Miss Understood), she is usually canny and creative. On Goddess, she reunites with We Not Humping collaborator Flo Milli for a brand new twist on pop’s beloved “God is a girl” trope (“If God is a person / Inform me why these niggas by no means wanna make plans?”), whereas the unruly bass of Wig Splitter performs like Beating Down Yo Block with extra angle, extra technical finesse and even fewer fucks to provide.
The Doja Cat-esque disco of Goddess suggests Monaleo thrives someplace in between these napalm blasts and extra maudlin cuts. Whereas her ballads are nowhere close to as fine-tuned because the brattier songs, her sheer pressure of persona greater than makes up for the imbalance.