The opening song on Ester Dean's new EP, Miss Ester Dean, is a jam about stealing a crap dude's ex-girlfriend. "How he let a bad motherfucker like you go?" she wonders. It's a good question. Not only is it bigging up a quote-unquote "cold ass bitch," it's also Ester showing off her mack prowess by floating off with his ex.
This flawless jack move ends with an aloof warning that if he comes around, his best course is to tread lightly. Also,"How he get mad when he see you in the Rolls Royce?/ All up in his feelings, want you back, man, we so ghost/ How he let a chick take his bitch? Man, I don't know/ He must've got a bruise or a bump on his ego."
It's a cocky corrective to the aggression on a record like "Loyal," as if Dean is snatching Karrueche from the krumping clutches of Chris Brown right after their 53rd breakup.
Not surprisingly, "Keeper" has the most plays on Ester's SoundCloud page. She's flexed just as casually as a songwriter on records like Rihanna's "Rude Boy" and Beyoncé's "Countdown." (And Nicki Minaj's "Pills N Potions.") As an artist, Ester's high-pitched, squealing vocals are a distinct trademark, though she's toned it down a bit from her "Drop It Low" days.
Even if "Keeper" isn't potentially true-to-life (she hasn't publicly disclosed her sexuality), it's the ego-boosting act that makes it great. She told Complex in 2014:
"People be like, "Is she gay?" I don't know! I just love talking about women; I love talking about men; I love talking about them as if they're both the same. When I'm writing a song, I'm like, "Ohh, am I talking to a girl? Ohh, am I talking to a guy? Wait, I don't care!" I'm talking about the act. Whoever's in the act, I don't care. Sometimes it comes off very androgynous, and I love it. That's who I am. I'm a very free fucking person in song. In song, I can say whatever I wanna say."
Ester's securely owning her greatness and her deficiencies on this EP. She's also keeping it blunt (she sings on "That Girl," "I want you to leave if you fucked her), even when she's admitting to an unhealthy, out-of-character attachment to a guy (on "Jealous") because "maybe it's the way you let me ride that [ ]."
I'm assuming the word is "dick," unless she means "ride that bike," but probably not.
"Any Other Way," my least favorite, is an AutoTune serenade about being lost in love, but otherwise most of these songs fall in the mid-tempo category. "New Shit" works because I'd rather hear a woman brag over DJ Mustard's echoed pulses than the usual crew of melodic penises.
But let's get to my new anthem, "Fuck It." The straining vocals on this almost serve as proof that Ester is drained and tired of everything: "You don't wanna live right, fuck it/ You don't wanna act right, fuck it... Fuck it all."
Stream the EP below.
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