Wynne is back, and with her new EP, DO MY OWN STUNTS, it’s clear that she’s still got something to prove. The project, produced entirely by Dreamville mastermind Christo, is out today via Portland’s EYRST label. Last time we caught up with Wynne, she had just released her debut LP, If I May, and was gearing up for a national tour alongside Earthgang and Mick Jenkins, poised for induction into a cadre of artists widely considered to be the new vanguard of rap. Our interview with Wynne came out in January of 2020, and the tour went through February. A month after that, we were in the thick of a global pandemic, the rippling consequences of which we’re only now beginning to unpack.
This is not to say that DO MY OWN STUNTS, is a explicitly a pandemic record, but rather that it captures the raw energy and drive of an artist who was on the verge of a meteoric rise right before everything got cancelled, and who refuses to let us forget why she was in the conversation to begin with. Wynne can rap. That’s always been the bottom line, ever since her take on the #SoGoneChallenge went unexpectedly viral, and DO MY OWN STUNTS serves as yet another testament to that fact.
The project is also driven in no small part by Christo’s production, which balances heavy 808s and driving drums on the low end against higher, sparser lines of jangly keys and eerily detuned strings and stabs that provide just enough of a background melody for Wynne to work, while still giving her voice room to carry the tracks. The two pair well, and there’s a sonic consistency that Christo lends to the project as its sole producer.
Lyrically, Wynne is raw and sexy and funny in equal parts, as in the opening verse of “OLE OLE,” where she raps: “If I put the mic down I’m gonna give a tough guy something to cry bout/said he wanna pipe boy, pipe down, go to tryouts/hit it lights out, get one stroke free, strike out, like how/you coulda hit before/I coulda endorsed you on all fours/I like that, bite back/put his dick on an ice pack, boy soft.”
To compliment the density of bars, it’s clear Wynne has been dialing in her song structure as well, adding a number of catchy refrains, including melodic autotune hooks on “STUNT” and “DEMON,” all of which give the tape a broader pop appeal. Still, it’s not all ear candy. “Before I speak/PPB can’t be reformed!” Wynne opens on “CARROT CAKE,” reminding us that despite the fun she and Christo are having, there are still real battles to be fought. Clocking in at just under fifteen minutes, DO MY OWN STUNTS is perhaps not the project to fight those battles head-on, but Wynne always shows a defference towards the larger culture of hip-hop in which she continues to thrive, her way.