Rod Wave ‘NOSTALGIA’, A Refined And Consensual Proposal

Rod Wave's 'Nostalgia' blends heartbreak with emotional beats
Nostalgia is the fifth studio album by American rapper and singer Rod Wave. It was released through Alamo Records on September 15, 2023. The album contains guest appearances from Wet, 21 Savage, and Sadie Jean.

1. Rod Wave as “Adele for Thugs”

Rod Wave is a downtrodden soul, and his notes app probably reads like a novel. Despite being the target of internet jokes and memes—his music has been called “Adele for thugs”—Wave has been a pioneer in the Soul-Trap genre since 2017. His dependably beautiful falsetto voice is a confessional conduit for his heartfelt gags, which are humorous in and of themselves. As a result, the music is very devastating. His musical style leans more toward blues and soul than rap, in my opinion.

The instrumentals that he is backed by are indistinguishable from one another and do not consist of any distinct traits. The contrast between his heartfelt observations over trap beats that are packed with booming 808s and supported by either a glittering piano loop or a drawling guitar riff is one that works because of the depths of his lyrics. Occasionally, when you listen to Rod Wave’s music, you could get the impression that you are a fly on the wall during a private therapy session or that you are overhearing an open chat between your closest friends in public. Wave has a strong desire to be heard, and it is evident that Wave uses the microphone as a form of therapy.

In 2019, Wave made his debut with the song “Heart On Ice.” In the song, he sang about his numerous heartbreaks and emotional proclivities, and he resolved to give his heart a break after becoming visibly exhausted with the emotional pain and agony he had been experiencing. Rod Wave is still working through his most recent challenges, which he has been dealing with for the past four years and six projects. The fact that his most recent album, titled Nostalgia, is expected to make its debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart is a testament to the fact that his music is becoming more and more approachable, as well as to the singular position that he holds within the domain of hip hop.

rod wave heart on ice
Rod Wave heart on ice

Although the ultimate purpose of Rod Wave’s music – unashamed self-expression and a way of connecting with his audience – is nothing new, it’s the mix of his execution, honesty and highly introspective lyrics that make his movement so compelling. Rod Wave is consistently delivering without displaying any signs of cynicism in a time when people are more than ever seeking authenticity and relatability.

It is the depths of his feelings that continue to grow more and more daring, such as on “Come See Me,” when he discloses that he was so high last night that he nearly leaped out of the window. You know what to anticipate from a Rod Wave record in terms of the sonics, but it is the depths of his feelings that continue to get more and more fearless.

2. Nostalgia one of the dullest hip hop albums of the year

Throughout Nostalgia, you can hear straight gospel music, as on “Long Journey,” in which he remembers his rise to fame and the formative years he spent in St. Petersburg, Florida. He publicly attributes his success to his faith in God, which brings attention to the fact that Rod Wave portrays him as someone who was never meant to succeed. He now uses his platform to inspire others, despite the fact that, statistically speaking, he has always had it bad due to his background and circumstances. It seems like he may now be accepting his emotional processing style, since there are glimpses of optimism throughout Nostalgia, similar to those on Beautiful Mind from last year.

Rod Wave’s songs have a way of capturing emotions and setting the mood, although his albums tend to be too lengthy and lack variety. Like the rest of Wave’s discography, Nostalgia follows a formula. Some of the songs, like “Crazy,” have his lifeless vocals and lackluster production, and he completely skirts the topic of his isolation. He reveals the simplicity of his problems—when he acts on lust, he loses himself and spirals—in his boring delivery on the hook of the 21 Savage-assisted “Turks & Caicos” and in songs like “Checkmate,” which lack the essential subtleties that can make or break his music. On songs like “Love For A Thug,” in which he sings of exchanging his Percocets for an embrace, it sounds like things are looking up when he dedicates himself to love.

“Get on the internet and see people laughing about my depression.” This is Wave’s way of addressing the memes head-on in “Boyz Don’t Cry.” He addresses the lack of understanding and the tendency to mock those who are so open and honest, particularly when it involves a prosperous Black man, even if he uses his position to convey relevant expressions and shares his struggles. An artist like Rod Wave is crucial in a society where toxic masculinity and the stigma associated with men’s mental health persist because of the fearless expressions he offers.

Rod Wave Nostalgia It Was All For You T Shirt (1)


On “Great Gatsby”, Rod Wave expresses deep emotional turmoil and physical sickness stemming from missing a significant person in his life, showcasing an intense and complex love.

I threw the party of the century

And people came over, no one left sober

And it was all for you, it was all for you

Despite holding a grand party, his only focus remains on his memories with her, illustrating his longing and the deep connection they share. Towards the end of the song, there’s a pronounced desire to reunite and rekindle their relationship, highlighting a sense of hope and a deep-seated affection for her.

Rod Wave merch is available for you to express all of your emotions!

3. A Polished Yet Pensive Offering

Wave is still experiencing the need to flex his gangster identity and connection to the streets despite all of the difficulties he is going through, as evidenced by the song “Keep It G.” During this process, however, he is actively redefining what it means to be a “keep it gangsta.” Becoming in sync with your feelings and having self-assurance in the platform you use to express yourself are two of the most macho qualities one can possess.

Wave’s narration is elevated by the sampled appearance of Sadie Jean on the outro “2018,” which emphasizes his lyricism above the drumless beat. It gives a peek of what Rod Wave may deliver as a mainstay pop name, and it might be time to allow him this room – regardless of how hilarious it may be to engage with his internet perception.