South London pop artist RAYE is on fire in her new, no-nonsense track "Decline." Assisted by Afro-beat star Mr Eazi, the just-turned 20-year-old hits hard on her fresh single, alternately singing and rapping about an ex-lover with a perfect amount of feisty, so-over-you attitude.
If the hot new song feels somehow familiar, you may be subconsciously recognizing it as a rework of Ja Rule's Ashanti-featured hit "Always On Time" chorus. While Ashanti sings in the 2001 R&B/hip-hop original, "Baby, I'm not always there when you call / But I'm always on time / And I gave you my all / Now baby be mine," rising young pop star RAYE puts her own post-breakup twist on the classic lines with, "I was always there for you, oh / I was always on time / And I gave you my all / So now you call, I decline." Produced by Fraser T Smith, the track carries itself with a consistent upbeat energy, building momentum with each impressively-rapped verse from RAYE & Mr Eazi, connected by repeats of the inspired, earworm chorus.
In another jab to her "player" ex, RAYE makes a quick but spot-on reference to another modern pop-culture icon, none other than the Queen B herself, rapping, "Hold up, wait a minute now / and Beyonce said irreplaceable / …You had a good girl, yeah baby." With Mr Eazi's character acting as the notorious ex, "Decline" plays out like a back-and-forth conversation between the two, with Mr Eazi trying to win RAYE back to no avail.
RAYE has been busy curating an upcoming project (which "Decline" is part of) set to release in early 2018, a collection of collaborations with her artist friends. As the growing pop star continues to amass new fans and millions of streams with every release, "Decline" is hopefully the beginning of yet another step up in her career's already exceptional trajectory.
If, like RAYE, you aren't taking calls from your ex anymore, there's no doubt "Decline" is about to be your new independence anthem. Enjoy below: