ROTB Releases Banger Mixtape

Made up of ten talents, this Singaporean music collective might just be the mastermind behind the rise of local Hip-Hop. Get jiggy with ROTB’s tracks.

Shout out to all the Singaporean rising musicians who are as gifted as they are eagerly ambitious. In an inspired way, local music collective ROTB has crafted a superb mixtape with banging tracks.

If you’re like me, someone who doesn’t listen to Rap often and mostly play it to feel infinitely cooler, your mind might be blown or you might convert to a regular listener. If not, the majority of our Dreamfellas team are Hip-Hop and Rap fanatics (some are almost considered cognoscente even), and they’ve given approving nods to ROTB’s sound. When I say approving nods, I really mean bobbing and headbanging to sick beats.

Moreover, there really is no better time than now for notable local music when regulations are eased up, gatherings are popping about and live shows are back on. Hip-Hop in the clubs? Say less. A great addition to your listening repertoire, some of these songs will be apt and ideal for all your raves or chill sessions.

It’s hard to pick a favourite song and hard to stay still while listening to ROTB’s mixtape. I’ve warned you, but let it play and you’ll know what I mean.

The Mixtape

Standing as ROTB’s first project, the tape was refined and completed from 2020 through 2021. It represents an important evolution of the collective and shows how well individual sounds can blend together as one. As the boys say, they are “always remaining honest in their writing while staying true to the rapper bravado of their appearance”. An intrinsic defining point in what the ROTB style is for each of them.

In true ‘70s style, the project includes two sides like how a cassette tape would work. Each side has a curated list of tracks with its own meaning and representations.

Side A encapsulates the energy and bravado of ROTB, demonstrated through skilful finesse in its cadence and lyrical ability. The motifs on the tracks pull motivation and aggression together, coupled with high energy instrumentals that will keep your blood pumping. The second track, ‘Want It All’, is “an amalgamation of braggadocio and mischievous motives”, capturing the collective’s aggression in an arsenal of heavy-hitting punch lines with a razor wit.

Released on 29 April, Side A features local rapper Tengyboy and former member Qmrddn.

For Side B, the boys dug deep and produced a tapestry of emotions painted in motifs from bitter love and melancholy to purposeful anger. Here, ROTB’s bold personas are stripped away as they challenge their vulnerabilities. Described as an array of unabashed bars where heart and mind are channelled, the artistic process was steered through introspection and the spirit to seek perspectives.

‘Potion’, the first track in Side B, kicks off with emotion-fueled lyrics riding on melodious instrumentation, a drastic yet fitting contrast to Side A. In an assertive but solemn delivery of fatalistic chorus and vulnerable verses, ‘Potion’ touches on the topic of toxic love.

Side B features former member Sonic and singer-songwriter Sheeq Luna. The release date has yet to be set, but may be teased on ROTB’s Instagram.

Who Is ROTB?

Short for ‘Return of The Bastards’, 12 music geniuses make up a Singapore-based collective. It all began when a group of strangers came together at a Bukit Batok coffee shop — a night spent getting to know each other as well as everyone’s goals and aspirations. With individuals hailing from various mediums like dance, beatboxing, production and more, ‘self-expression’ was naturally the main topic of conversation.

The boys recognised the opportunity to collaborate and create music together and released two singles last year: ‘ENERGY’ and ‘DIRT’. As a whole, ROTB celebrates each member’s musical mismatch by adopting unconventional and unique songwriting as well as recording methods.

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As a group of aspiring musicians, the collective set their sights on creating a safe space for themselves. In the studio, there’s no need for labels. It’s all about living in a “say what you mean, mean what you say” environment. Some might call them “just another collective”, but the boys would argue that ROTB is not just a unit, but a spirit.

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These boys have dubbed the music they create together as simply “that hot shit”. From their live performances and Instagram page, you can already tell they’re a fun and passionate group of creatives.

Keep up to date on ROTB’s next moves through their Telegram channel, where you can expect updates on early releases, exclusive access to upcoming tracks, group activities in the scene and entertaining content from the lively boys. And of course, hints on when Side B will be dropped. Join the community here now!

Discover what else is hot in the local music scene here.

All images courtesy of ROTB.


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