A Loving Spoonful: On KEY!’s “Sugar & Rice”

Will Schube goes in on the emotive new single from "Atlanta's most underrated."
By    March 19, 2020

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You better believe Will Schube has been incorporating medical safety masks into his big fits.

KEY! is the poet laureate of our collective heartbreak. Atlanta’s most underrated has been chronicling the ups-and-downs of intense vulnerability for a decade, but he really honed in on the absolute shitshow of getting your heart broken on last year’s SO EMOTIONAL. His tears took the form of autotuned ballads and vengeful spite raps, questioning his chick for spending too much time in Miami and the sheer inconceivability of getting dumped at the W. KEY!’s forthcoming LP is called I Love You, Say it Back! so we’re likely in for more of the same. While quarantined from your partner or ex or that one-night stand you can’t get over, KEY! is here to empathize, chronicle, and wash it down with a fifth of gin and distant memories.

“Sugar & Rice” is the first single from ILY,SIB! and it’s perfect. Sonically it mines similar terrain as SO EMOTIONAL, using bouncy, melodic synths and layered vocals to create a landscape of utter sadness. “How we fall off like baby teeth?,” he asks, before adding “I was Will Smith you were Jada P.” Eskimo’s have 50 words for snow, but KEY! has one hundred metaphors for that pit-in-your-stomach destruction that comes along with getting curved. No one has made sadness sound so hard, and KEY! has solidified himself as rap’s romantic Shakespeare. Now that he’s unable to leave his house, I Love You, Say it Back! may just be his King Lear.

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