Pryde knows what it’s like to lose a best friend. Formerly known as D-Pryde, Russell Llantino had half a dozen mixtapes, a pair of EPs, and a tour with J. Cole under his belt when the unthinkable happened—the Brampton, Ontario MC’s mother died of cancer in April, and everything changed.
Llantino is still processing the loss, but he’s managed to use his grief in a positive way, putting his energy into his music full tilt. Rebranded as Pryde, the self-described “pop rapper” has found a laser-like focus in the eye of the storm. With “Come and Go,” he’s zeroed in on a sound and a message that’s more autobiographical, seeing Pryde duck trends and sidestep posturing in favor of putting himself out there. It’s a new era of transparency and determination.
"All I've been thinking about recently is trying to make hip-hop super trap bangers for the ‘cool’ youth fanbase, but I always come back to the heartfelt side of my lifestyle which is my family,” Pryde told Complex. “I party, do cool things, travel, have awesome friends, and live incredibly, but then go home to the fact that my mom isn't around, and my dad is still working,” he added. “I wanted to put my desire to make hip-hop bangers aside, and try to make a song that reflects my work ethic, and my need to feed both my dad and my sister, and make sure they're alright for life.”
The beat features a monstrous bass line and booming 808s, with Pryde flexing on playful melodic hooks and spitting militant verses. He’s an ambidextrous vocalist, with his lyrics shifting between a party manifesto and deeply personal diary from bar to bar. When the chorus drops, beckoning the listener to “Come have it all,” it feels like it’s possible.
Some say the loss of a parent ages you a full decade overnight, but Pryde filters his heartache into motivation. “Money comes, pretty women go, but your family will always be there.” And when you’ve got your family on your back, it’s fight or flight—anything is possible.
Listen to “Come and Go” by Pryde below, and stay tuned for his debut album Russell, slated for an October release.