Tragically departed Atlanta star Rae Rae was taken from us, but his legacy lives on with his debut album, Right on Time, out today via Run-It-Up Records / Motown / CMG. Additionally, Rae Rae’s team has released the two-part Right on Time docu-series, which sheds light on the 18-year-old rapper and producer’s unrelenting hustle and thrilling talent. In light of Rae Rae’s passing, the album was assembled by his closest artistic partners. As Motown Records VP of A&R Shawn Barron puts it, “Right on Time is a celebration of Rae Rae’s life. He had so much to show the world and this is just a taste of where he was going to take it.”
The album opens with one of his most popular hits to date, “Unconditional Love.” The pain in Rae Rae’s voice is nearly palpable as he searches for answers, and people who will love him for his personality, wit, and charisma, rather than the perks that come with success. On “Crash Flow”—which has racked up 40 million streams after going viral on TikTok—Rae Rae vibes over a bass-heavy beat that’s bound to be a Magic City staple for years to come. Throughout, we’re treated to the young man’s ability to evoke emotion while describing his unique perspective on the streets, the rap game, and everything in between.
As revealing as the album is, though, the Right on Time docu-series offers a heartbreaking portrait of a rising star caught in the middle of all-too-frequent gun violence in his hometown. Rae Rae’s mother, Alicia Boyd, is the film’s star, taking her son’s fans through his life with passion and bravery. Home footage of Rae Rae rhyming as a 6-year-old shows that he was destined to be a rapper, but the thought of him not being able to fulfill that dream is almost too much to bear.
Influenced by Atlanta legends like Future and Jeezy, Rae Rae was poised to claim next up in the city’s ever-shifting hierarchy. His best songs blend the pain and hedonism of the former with the street ethics of the latter, but Rae Rae asserted a unique voice with his specificity and ability to bring urgency to every observation. The documentary sheds light on Rae Rae’s passion, with summer days spent locked in his room, learning how to write, record, and produce. Rae Rae’s energy was infectious, and he approached every day as an opportunity. Success and the passing of a friend who encouraged his career led the MC to shift his focus entirely to rap, and the world was just beginning to reap the rewards. Though he’s gone far too soon, Right on Time and its accompanying documentary are heart-wrenchingly personal send-offs.
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