Zacari makes good first impression with “Run Wild Run Free”


Image courtesy of HotNewHipHop.

Jacob Welsko, Former Culture Editor

New Top Dawg Entertainment affiliate Zacari released his soulful seven-song debut EP “Run Wild Run Free” on March 15.

Zacari Pacaldo is an R&B/Soul artist who recently signed to the elite rap/R&B label T.D.E. The West Coast based label flaunts an arsenal of artists including Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, SZA, Ab-Soul, and Isaiah Rashad. Zacari made a name for himself by featuring with multiple T.D.E artists. He was featured on Kendrick Lamar’s hit “LOVE.” from 2017. Zacari also appeared on the T.D.E headed “Black Panther Soundtrack” on songs like “Paramedic!” and “Redemption.” Ultimately, Zacari brings a new and diverse sound to a rather hip-hop dominated label.

The seven-song EP is sufficient with a 21 minute runtime and starts off strongly with “You Can Do Anything.” A rather motivational track with a pretty subtle instrumental, the song is most likely about going your separate ways with someone important in your life and staying your own person. The EP sports two singles released in anticipation for it: “Midas Touch” and “Don’t Trip,” that both feature a quiet instrumental and are pretty catchy. Zacari flexes both his versatility and his impeccable vocals, especially on the first cut. “Ten Outta Ten” is a subtle hit and one of the strongest tracks from the EP and very reminiscent to his song with Kendrick. The sole feature is on “Young & Invincible (feat. Lil Yachty)” and is easily the best song on the EP. Although maybe a fellow T.D.E member would’ve been preferred, perhaps SZA or Ab-Soul, Lil Yachty holds his own. His appearance is nothing to write home about, in fact, the feature probably holds more benefit for Yatchy than Zacari. The penultimate song “Lone Wolf” is a very catchy tune. The album ends just as it begins, with “Run Wild Run Free,” a song preaching to be yourself–and to run wild and run free.

The only chief criticism with the EP, and Zacari in general, are the instrumentals. They’re all pretty quiet and anti-climactic; hopefully as Zacari blossoms he’ll abandon this. I don’t expect him to appear on a hard-hitting beat and drop bar after bar. Zacari is an R&B artist, yet these boring, atmospheric instrumentals are a problem in general for modern R&B. Not to mention, this is only his first project, so hopefully on his next, we’ll hear him on some other sounds. Also, some songs do tend to sound similar and run together, which can be expected with an artist’s debut project.

All in all, Zacari’s debut EP “Run Wild Run Free” showcases the new artist’s beautiful vocal talents and astounding potential, he’s got a bright future that fans can’t wait to hear and to see.