What are we going to do about Marshmello? The young Philadelphia dance producer seems like a joke: The name, the giant marshmallow on his head, the videos where he’s the teenager in a family that belongs to some kind of mysterious marshmallow-headed race. Marshmello seems like the kind of silly little joke that briefly infatuates the dance-music world and never crosses over. But that’s not what’s happening. Marshmello has crossed over. His Bastille collab “Happier” hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. He teamed up with Chvrches on the new single “Here With Me” last month. And now he has a whole three-song EP with energetic Bay Area cult-rap heroes SOB x RBE.
SOB x RBE spent the first half of last year blowing up from the Bay Area underground — landing a song on Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panthersoundtrack about a year ago — and the second half seemingly breaking up. But apparently they’ve figured out how to stay together. They’re performing at Coachella this weekend, and now they’ve got this Marshmello thing. According to a press release, Marshmello became a fan after seeing SOB x RBE at the Rolling Loud festival in LA last year, and the collaboration came together quickly.
This good news: Roll The Dice is not an EP of EDM-rap. Instead, Marshmello has just given SOB x RBE three rap beats, and they’ve rapped over them. That’s it. It’s not a signal of some new change of direction. It sounds like a much cleaner and less energetic version of the SOB x RBE that we heard on two albums last year. Also, Marshmello has given them a new word to rhyme things with. Yhung T.O., who apparently hasn’t left the group after all: “Bounce out with that mask like I’m Marshmello / Riding in that Bumblebee cuz my car yellow / Smoking on that purple like I’m Donatello / I’ve been running up that bag, got no time to settle.” Stream all three tracks below.