Ladibree proves herself on ‘Only Everything’
Ryan Israel | Monday, April 29, 2019
At the 2018 Radiofest, a crowd of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students gathered to celebrate and partake in our universities’ small yet authentic music scene. With red solo cups in hand, the crowd huddled around a garage to watch the usual suspects perform, like current campus rockstars Felix Rabito and The Shifties. Act after act provided ample entertainment, but there was little variety, that is, until Ladibree picked up the mic. With unbridled enthusiasm and serious confidence, she delivered a dose of hip-hop to the crowd, getting everyone involved in the performance. Her show stood out, and not just because she was the only rapper there.
When Ladibree, whose real name is Brianna Connor, performed at Radiofest, she was a sophomore with a 17-track mixtape on Soundcloud and a passion for music. That mixtape, titled “Ambitions & All-Nighters,” was a necessary first step, a loosely connected collection of songs that proved Ladibree had talent. Now, she’s a junior with a debut EP on major streaming services and her own record label. That EP, titled “Only Everything,” is a huge step for Ladibree, a statement of purpose that shouldn’t be ignored by anyone at Notre Dame.
“Only Everything” does what any good EP should do — it introduces the artist and puts their talents and their brand on display. For Ladibree, those talents are rapping and lyricism, and that brand is a no-nonsense, motivated person with plenty of cockiness and swagger. Over the EP’s six tracks, she flexes her lyrical skills, leaving no doubt that she’s the best rapper on campus and shows an ability to deliver both uptempo, banging tracks and mellow, relaxed songs.
“Only Everything” kicks off with a prototypical intro track titled “Liftoff,” which does its job setting the stage. However, on the following two tracks, “Bruce Wayne” and “Chosen,” the energy is amped up, and Ladibree comes in full force. “Bruce Wayne” uses a heavy bass and quick drums to create a captivating atmosphere into which Ladibree brings her talents as a hype rapper. Her verses are quick and biting, and her lyrics are filled with clever wordplay and hoops references. “Wait, how you gon’ front on me? / Kyrie with the moves, you a bum on D / Erybody got you gas but you still on E,” she spits before returning to the track’s catchy chorus.
The energy stays high on the succeeding track “Chosen.” Over a bouncy, melodic beat, Ladibree raps in a confident flow, delivering boastful, cocky verses with unflinching conviction and dropping exuberant ad-libs throughout. “They sleepin’ on me, sleepin’ on me, where the Folgers at? (Catch some Zs),” she asks with enthusiasm. Her confidence is infectious, just listening will make you feel like you too are “chosen.”
On the short and simple “Thursday Night Waves Interlude,” a trap-R&B beat slows the tempo down and Ladibree unveils her chill. She delivers a lengthy opening verse with ease before transitioning into a laid back chorus which features some of the best singing on the EP. While Notre Dame mini-celebrity Brandon Hardy and fellow student musician Alpharo are both credited on the track, it’s Ladibree who dominates the short track from start to finish.
As the most prominent hip-hop artist in the Notre Dame music scene, Ladibree carries the weight of the genre; on “Only Everything,” she proves that she’s up to the task. With serious talent as a rapper and the confidence of someone who knows it, she controls all six tracks on the EP, never allowing a dull moment to set in. As the closing track “Still Praying” nears its end, Ladibree shouts out those who have helped her along the way — her family, her fans and God, all of whom will eagerly await her next release.
Album: “Only Everything”
Label: Plan A Records
Favorite tracks: “Bruce Wayne,” “Chosen,” “Thursday Night Waves Interlude”
If you like: City Girls, Leikeli 47, Molly Brazy
Shamrocks: 4 out of 5