Despite her onomatopoeic handle, the first few years of the career of 23-year-old Bull City singer Sarah Kaboom have been a tiresome series of non-exploding teases and duds. She’s contributed to projects by the likes of King Mez, SkyBlew, Azon Blaze and B Stacks, meaning any noise she hoped to make as a solo artist became buried underneath the aspirational cacophony of Triangle hip-hop. Her contributions enhanced others’ material more than they gave her independent recognition. Bad management? Patience? Either way, Kaboom’s audacious if imperfect dual EP, Jump Into Infinity/Trill Hippies, suggests she’s long deserved more attention.
Produced solely by rising North Carolina soundman Gotti Rock Solid, these songs give her a wide showcase. Kaboom adds singer-rapper aspirations to saucy duets like “Insatiable,” over tranquil trap beats like “Grindin” and into overly cerebral Rock&B misses like “Skin.”
It’s nebulous where this project shifts thematically from one EP to the next, but Kaboom’s supposed hippie meets her trillness best on “Monster Inside,” where she purrs a lecture about entering beast mode. She gets a bit too trill and free on “No Change,” offering awful lines like “You couldn’t see me even if you balled with my glasses.”
At least Kaboom risks several songwriting liberties here, as she attempts to express and own an impressive range. These EPs are her most ambitious, accomplished and strangely uncomfortable offerings to date. She wants to obey too many instincts, as though she were a songwriter, a rapper and Rihanna at once. That’s a lot of work for a new start, but at least Kaboom is making one.