WRITTEN BY: John Peterson
On a new single, “Vitamin E,” local Philly artists Rubber and Sam Bekt combine forces to deliver a track that’s both cool and honest. Although their separate work shows a divergence in style, as a collective the artists offer a pleasant amalgamation blending R&B, hip hop, and pop with a hint of experimentalism. But as fun as it is to throw generic genre labels at a song and wait for one to stick, the process isn’t entirely helpful in accurately describing the music. “Vitamin E” is just another example of the movement to abandon restriction and embrace fluidity. What genre speaks to the undeniable and indescribable feel of Andrew Loper’s smooth and impassioned vocal delivery? The metronomic ticking of a hi hat clashing against a round and unwieldy bass? The synthetic and understated verse from Sam Bekt? These elements are their own, evading definition as only the best art does.
The track features some dynamic and impressive production, but retains an indie, DIY charm. Especially within the underproduced lead vocals, however, this charm could turn into a missed opportunity. What’s lively and raw to some could be seen as amateurish to others, the overall mix being less clear than many top tier R&B artists like Moonchild or 6LACK. All of this being said, “Vitamin E” remains a strong showing from both Rubber and Sam Bekt, denying easy definition in exchange for honesty and fluidity.