As we enter 2024, the exhausting, lazy talk about how "R&B is dead" needs to simply die. When artists such as Destin Conrad continue to walk and grace this planet, statements as such are honestly just... ignorant and attention-seeking. Following October's Submissive release, the Florida native returns with the sequel project, Submissive 2. Released Friday (Jan. 19th), the project arrives as his final EP before his highly anticipated debut album.
Crisp, melodic, and glossy, Destin easily captivates listeners across nine concise tracks. Arriving as his 4th EP, Submissive 2 runs for only 16 minutes but does exactly what is required in that swift amount of time. The beauty of Destin Conrad is his ability to transcend time with his music. His sound works for any season or time. His pen is ahead of his age and his musicality is unparalleled. Destin's voice melts into the production leaving a euphoric, refreshing satsifaction as you progress through each track.
Submissive 2 opens with jazz-charged "Time Moves Slow." Destin's airy vocals excel on this slow-burning Louie Lastic & Dan Foster-produced banger. He gently sings about back and forth of time moving slowly yet fastly with his lover. "It's Only You," the project's first standout track is entrancing. Destin calmly sings about his focus being on one person only, his lover. Passionate and sultry, he croons about his lover's presence constantly lingering in every corner of his mind despite them having their doubts and concerns. He assures them that nothing else even matters above the other distractions. The dreamy production along with Destin's voice feels like the warmth and comfort of chili and cornbread. It flows perfectly. The energy is reinforced on "War," as Destin names the ways he will show up for his partner. He reassures his partner that whatever they want, he's willing to do.
Another standout arrives at Submissive 2's lead single, "Same Mistake." Recruiting the angelic goodness that is Alex Isley, the two are a vision of perfection. The track finds the two reflecting on and love that seems to be souring. While they want it to work, it seems that the love has met its course despite the effort both Alex and Destin have placed into their respective situations which have led to the same mistakes in love. The contagious, acoustic-appealing "If I Lie" finds Destin asking his partner, if it would be better if he lied to make the relationship work despite, Destin knowing this may be something he's not quite ready for.
Destin's eye for storytelling with suave delivery should be studied. "Life Been Lifin" is a relatable story of just going through the motions, the ups, the downs, the same ol, same ol, and everything in between. He desires a change in pace, a change in life. Ironically, the production is more upbeat and vibrant despite the lyrics. Submissive 2 ends with a clear message on "yo confidence pt. 2." In the interlude the voice shares, "So, if they want me to be submissive, they need to bring something for me to be submissive to, hello?" The idea of being submissive is yielding to authority/dominance. Destin reinforces that to receive that, whoever is up to dealing with him must come with confidence and assurance of themselves.
While both Submissive & Submissive 2 display elements of romance, sexuality, and love, the latter feels more like Destin is ok with playing both roles of protagonist and antagonist. While he is still very much here for love, he's also ok with not having all of the pieces together. Whether he's a little unsure if he's ready for a relationship he thought he was (but willing to lie to make it better), or ready to go to "war" for the physicality and love associated with his lover, he's figuring out what/who is for him at his own pace and time - how life should be. Submissive 2 exudes honesty, sensuality, and originality; 3 elements that all of Destin's music effortlessly embodies.