Review: 'Hey Mama,' 'Monster' songwriter shines on debut EP

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Bebe Rexha, "I Don't Wanna Grow Up — EP" (Warner Bros.)

Bebe Rexha may not have originally received on-screen credit as the vocalist behind David Guetta and Nicki Minaj's latest smash, "Hey Mama" — which Rexha co-wrote — but it's all good: the singer's debut EP gives enough attention to this budding performer's musical talents.

"I Don't Wanna Grow Up," her five-song album, strikes a chord as Rexha sings with passion, aggression and strength. "I'm Gonna Show You Crazy" is theatrical and anthemic as Rexha sings lyrics like, "I'm tired of trying to be normal, I'm always overthinking, I'm driving myself crazy." It's followed by another powerful track, "Pray," where Rexha's beautifully screeching vocals are highlighted.

Passion is Rexha's forte: You can hear her swag all over Eminem and Rihanna's "The Monster," the No.1 hit that Rexha co-wrote and originally created. Others have benefited from her skill with the pen, too, from Usher to Pitbull to Tinashe.

The EDM-flavored "I Can't Stop Drinking About You" is radio-friendly like "Hey Mama," which recently cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And the falsetto-heavy "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" is breezy and soft.

Hey mama, great job.