There has been a crop of rappers that have emerged over the last three years or so who are pushing the Emo-Trap sound further and further towards the Rock side of the genre. These artists grew up listening to just Pop Punk and Emo Rock and they did Trap music, and they have been inclined to blend the genres in a bigger way that hasn’t been done before. Iann Dior is an artist who has been at the forefront of this wave of new Emo-Trap artists. Due to a slew of viral hits, he has become one of the most recognizable emerging rappers in the genre. I have always felt like Iann Dior has all the talent in the world and seems to have no limits in regards to the kinds of music he can make. With that being said, it seems like he doesn’t exactly know where he wants to go with his sound. Similar to his previous projects, Iann Dior’s new record, on to better things, almost feels like a compilation of potential singles rather than a cohesive album. There is not a ton of rhyme or reason sound of the album, and the lyrical “theme” just feels like it’s a bunch of random love songs. With that being said, Iann Dior’s talent doesn’t shine through on a bunch of these tracks. He has such a cool ability to adapt his voice and flow to multiple different kinds of music, there a quite a few songs on this album that show off his abilities. With that being said, here is a list of some of my favorite songs from Iann Dior’s on to better things. Please let me know in the comments if you enjoy these songs too, and also let me know how you feel about the rest of the record.
Before this record, I thought that Iann Dior stuck to more Punk Rock and Hip Hop roots. ‘complicate it’ is proof that he can excel at making Pop music as well. This is a Pop track with an Emo-ish guitar melody that is colorful and sweet. The melody goes well with Iann Dior’s voice. One thing that had always stood out about him is his singing ability, and it shines through on ‘complicate it.’ I like the way that Iann is able to switch from a low pitch to a high pitch so easily. It adds a lot of extra texture to this song. Can’t Dior’s flow as he sings ‘complicate it’ is nice as well. it shows that had can do more than just rap(or sing-rap); he also seemed to have a very good sense of how to make Pop music. ‘complicate it’ is a sign that shows Iann Dior is improving and that he can be a Popstar. I think he should look into going down this Pop route a bit more in the future, as it fits his voice super well and he seems to be a natural at it.
V12 feat. Lil Uzi Vert
‘V12’ has quickly become my favorite song from this record. In fact, it has actually become one of my top songs from 2022 so far. It is easy to hear from his vocal style and sound that Iann Dior is heavily influenced by Lil Uzi Vert, and he is at the top of his game for their collaboration on this track. The melody, driven by a Punk-sounding guitar riff, has a fast-paced atmospheric Emo and Cloud Trap sound that goes so well with the energy and flow of both artists. This melody brings out the best in the vocal abilities of Iann Dior and Lil Uzi Vert. They both sound so natural and free on this instrumental, and their vocal styles bounce off each other super well. I would love to hear more collaborations from these two because they sound so good together. ‘V12’ is a super fun Emo-Trap banger that shows how great Iann Dior can be when he is pushed to be at his best.
‘I might’ has more of an Emo feeling than ‘V12’ does. Its melody is also driven by a guitar riff, but this one is a lot warmer and slower than the one that precedes it. The melody has a melancholy and downtrodden tone to it; ‘V12’ has a sound that is more suited for being happy and turning up. ‘I might’ has a sound that has a way more introspective and reflective feeling. It is not necessarily sad, but it also is not happy. One thing I really enjoy about this song is how much Iann Dior pushes his vocals. He almost takes a page out of Roddy Ricch’s book with this one. On ‘I might,’ Iann Dior pushes his vocals to a higher and more strenuous tone than he usually does, and it adds a lot of texture to the song. On ‘I might,’ Iann Dior acknowledges his late-night trend if getting super fucked up and calling a certain girl is something he should stop doing, but unfortunately, it is not something he is inclined to stop doing at this moment.
‘heavy’ is another song where Iann Dior embraces his emerging Pop side. Similar to the first song on this list, it does not have much of a Hip Hop flow or feeling at all. Iann Dior’s delivery on this track is a lot closer to someone like Justin Bieber on this song than someone like Lil Uzi Vert. Again, Iann excels at this Pop sound. His voice is so well suited for these kinds of Emo-tinted guitar Pop melodies; the way he can fluctuate from high and clean to low and raspy creates an interesting juxtaposition within his songs. ‘heavy’ has a very melancholy feeling to it. The melody is dark and somber, and the distortion on the best and overall sound of the whole song gives a foreboding quality. The emotion and distress that Iann is feeling in this song is palpable through his voice. It is easy to hear that ‘heavy’ means a lot to Iann Dior by the way he sings it. ‘heavy’ is an Emo-Pop jam that brings out the best in Iann Dior’s ability as a singer.
The bright and vibrant Cloud Trap sound that Iann Dior originally became big for is back in a big way with his song ‘heartbreak3r.’ This track has a similar feeling to it as his former hits ‘Mood’ with 24kGoldn and ‘gone girl’ with Trippie Redd. The melody for this track is very sparkling and colorful, and it has a bit of an atmospheric tint to its sound. ‘heartbreak3r’ does not have much of an Emo element to its sound. The melody is driven by a keyboard rather than a guitar, giving it a more traditional Pop-Trap feeling to it than most of the rest give record. The melody for this one sounds super nice with Iann Dior’s voice. The raspy nature of his vocals meshes well with the clean and concise feeling of the melody. Iann Dior has always been praised as having an extremely catchy flow when it comes to his rapping, and this is no different from ‘heartbreak3r.’ As diverse an artist as Iann Dior can be, he still excels at making catchy and fun Cloud Trap music, and ‘heartbreak3r’ is a great example of that.
thought it was feat. Travis Barker and Machine Gun Kelly
I’m not going to lie, when I first heard this track, I was not a big fan. It has grown on me very quickly, though. A lot of the recent music produced by Travis Barker has felt too much like him trying to inject Blink 182’s signature sound into new artists, but that is not the case with ‘thought it was.’ It does have a somber Emo guitar riff for the melody, but the best gives this track a futuristic Electro-Pop feeling. It is not a sound that Iann Dior or Machine Gun Kelly are known for diving into, but they both sound natural at it on this track. Similar to their past collaborations, Iann Dior’s voice bounces off of and meshes super well with Machine Gun Kelly’s voice. Their vocals are comparable, but they contrast each other enough to make it sound interesting when they are on a track together. ‘thought it was’ is not the kind of song one would expect from a collaboration between these three artists, but it sounds very good and I hope they all pursue this sound more in the future.
It is easy to tell from my song choices for this list that I think Iann Dior should dive into making Pop music more(as opposed to Hip Hop and Rock). ‘let you’ is yet another track from this record I enjoy with a Pop-Punk guitar riff provided as the melody for a fun Pop beat. The melody for this track is warm and fuzzy, and it goes well with the beat. The beat for ‘let you’ almost had a Dance-Pop feeling to it; combined with the aforementioned melody, it makes the song have light-hearted and fun energy. ‘let you’ has a sound that makes me think of a summer kickback; I could imagine jamming out to this one at the beach or at a park with a bunch of friends on a warm July day. Iann Dior has such a great sensibility when it comes to Pop music; his vocals and flow shine through on ‘let go.’ The melody for this one goes so well with Iann Dior’s voice, and his delivery of the verses is so catchy as well. ‘let you’ is yet another example of why Iann Dior could be a full-fledged Pop superstar if he put his mind to it.