After hit ‘Ivana,’ Soulstice offers full album ‘Short Story’


Yet another rap group proves there’s more to them than just their breakout hit.

The Southside (Laguna) rappers of Soulstice are moving beyond the smash “Ivana” with the release of their full-length debut album “Short Story.” Actually, MScript (Rome Legarda), Rowmee G (Jerome De Leon) and Seth (Ronald Abasta) already started doing that, with the follow-up song “Kabet that easily broke the 1 million stream barrier.

But it’s the ambitious “Short Story” that Soulstice hopes to set them apart from all the rap-related din. The 11-track album was finished during the quarantine period which posed no problem for them having been quartered together even before the pandemic started.

The “story” that the trio delve into is mainly the intricacies of a relationship. “Take You Out” is the proverbial courtship song delivered in straightforward Pinoy rap style. It continues with “Truesome” which showcases R&B-inflected soul inherent to them.

The love story peaks with “My Love” as the trio croons the first few bars with some love-drunk lyrics, along with smooth R&B action that gives way to gritty counterpoint. The mid-tempo “Vitamin U” keeps love in the air.

It’s in “Sorry” that Soulstice somehow arrives at their sound. The omni-present R&B lilt, the melodic hook, then the rap break—this song is good. The spot-on instrumental motifs and little riffs that weave in and out of this particular track are worth to mention.

The souring of the love story begins in the ultra-catchy “Red Button” featuring Allmo$t of “Dalaga” fame. Despite the gloom, head-bobbing beats, electro synth stabs combined with strong hooks lift the song. And while the love story further crashes in “Paasa,” the track sees song quality soar some more.

Listeners already know where the story will go when “Kabet” comes in. Then the eventual reminiscing of the good ol’ days in “Unknown.” But how to end it all properly? “Fade To Black” (yeah, it’s that bleak).

Still, this is a great start for Soulstice to showcase even more of their promising skills.