For whatever reason, we don’t cover a lot of R&B on this site, outside of our fawning over the works of Frank Ocean, Drake, and The Weeknd. In our defense – it’s not that we don’t enjoy this kind of music (we do), nor that there is some kind of mandate from higher up (there isn’t – I’d be the one issuing said mandate). It simply happens to be that the people writing about exciting independent bands don’t usually have much to work with in the rhythm and blues world. While all music production nowadays can and should be democratized (anyone can be a bedroom producer with just a laptop and a decent microphone), this most often translates to some kids with guitars, and a healthy dose of angst, recording his musings on love lost. In the world of hip hop, R&B, and rap, the most talented producers (those kids in their bedrooms with synthesizers or keyboards), as well as the most talented lyricists (the rapper/hook singer) are often snapped up early in their careers, thrown into a collective by their label, and asked to bleet on command. And again, that’s just fine by us.

Which is why it’s so refreshing to see an artist from this genre just take it all on by himself. Rhett Darroux, known by his stage name Rhettie, is a multi-talented artist originally from the island of Dominica. Based in Houston, Rhettie has shown that he can really sing, as well as drop the flow on a couple of verses. “Going Strong” is his first single, and it has an incredibly catchy hook, married to an old school Southern Rap beat (slow it down a bit and it wouldn’t have been out of place on a Ying Yang Twinz album from 2004).

I really enjoy what he’s doing, and we’ll keep an eye on Rhettie for the next couple of months. I predict big things for this guy. Check out his website here or follow him on Twitter