Make Way for Rex Orange County

For those of you who don’t know who Rex Orange County is, he is a musical artist taking the alternative hip-hop genre by storm. I first found out about him over winter break. One of my good friends told me to listen to the song “Loving is Easy” on Spotify. As with most song suggestions, I leave them in the back of my mind. I’m usually busy or never think to take the time to listen to these suggestions with work and school, etc. It wasn’t until a second suggestion of the artist that I really looked into this guy.


Here’s what I found: Rex Orange County, or Alexander O’Connor, is a twenty-year-old artist from England. He started making and producing his own music at the age of sixteen and eventually, through Soundcloud and the release of his first album bcos u will never b free in 2015, caught the attention of Tyler, the creator. ROC eventually appeared on Tyler’s Flower Boy in 2017 and continued to gain recognition. Since then, he has released another fantastic album, Apricot Princess, in 2017 and a few hit singles.


The most attractive part of his music is his unique recipe of various instruments that accompany very real lyrics. ROC’s sound is most definitely different than anything I’ve ever heard in that it has a chill rhythm with a hint of hip-hop. Each song has its own flavor and catchy intrigue that allow them to play in many different settings: when you’re chilling in your room, hanging out with friends, or getting ready for a party. Whatever circumstance you choose to listen to ROC’s music, he will always leave you wanting more and sometimes he’ll even put you in your feels.


ROC’s first album is very emotional. He talks of a loss of innocence and having one’s heart broken, so there are a lot of sad vibes happening. For example, one of his songs is called “A Song About Being Sad”. At the same time, he is able to escape the clichés of depressing music by speaking effortlessly in the simplest terms. One of the lyrics from the song “Belly (The Grass Stains” that really spoke to me was, “Where on earth did my baby go? Was she ever even mine?” There is something very soulful about his lyrics, convincing his listeners that every single word is something he can attest to based on personal experience.


Different from his first album, ROC’s second album is more cheerful and lovely. It is about falling in love and being in a dreamy state of mind. In this album, I noticed more experimentation with different tempos, keeping the same relatable lyrics. The ups and downs of certain songs, like “Television / So Far So Good”, are a fresh change from artists who produce the same song with the same melody every single time.


Although both albums are equally moving, perhaps his best work is shown through his singles. My personal favorites are “Best Friend”, “Loving is Easy”, and “Sunflower”. Rex Orange County is currently killing it. He has four million monthly listeners on Spotify and this number continues to grow every day. I suggest that if you haven’t listened to his music, you should start now because pretty soon, he’ll be one of the biggest musical artists in America…and then the world. His talent is unforgettable.