Under Review

Under Review: Case Départ, Missy D

Kimara Wanjiru

In her latest EP, Case Départ, Missy D goes back to her roots, childhood, and French language in a bid to reconnect with the early experiences and influences that shaped her music. The result? A nostalgic collision of pop, hip hop and R&B that is reminiscent of a ‘90s hip-hop flow and groove. The project moves between subjects of grief, loss, childhood, and home. While the EP is primarily in French, it mixes in English vocals and rap in a simple, conversational manner that makes it easy for non-Francophone listeners to pick up on meaning and context.   

The first track “Amuse Bouche” plays more like a fun invitation, moving between French and English as it calls you into the rest of the EP with lines like, “Come and turn it up.” This track paves the way for the next track “Case Départ” which dives into her return to the starting point of her musical journey. The rap and music on this track are fun and bouncy, with lines like, “Ouuu! / Let me drop some French and some English too!” At the same time, the lyrics on this track make space for the introduction of Missy D as a little French speaking child. She does this through lyrics that highlight childhood memories, rhythm, and appreciating the many influences on her sound.

Missy D finds a balance between reflection through her rap, and playfulness through the music as she puts forward questions on finding home and dealing with grief. The artist further accomplishes this through a persistent nostalgic tone that is both explicit in its lyrics and implicit in its melody. Missy D singing, “Home is where I belong / Home is in this song you listening to,” is especially fitting and draws us into the ever shifting and multifaceted identity of what a home is for her. 

In beautiful contrast, the EP moves between softer, more reflective R&B tracks and energetic and strong hip-hop tracks like “Get Going” and “Back and Forth.” One of the standout tracks must be “Au Dela” which translates to ‘beyond.’. This track is both soothing and heartbreaking. Sung entirely in French, emotion permeates through the beautiful and well-paced lyrics, leaving you in an equal place of sadness and hope. 

Case Départ, skillfully combines bilingualism, rap, and vocals to move us through the highs and lows as she journeys back to her starting point, remembers her defining experiences, and reintroduces herself with a rejuvenated outlook on home, grief, and purpose. By diving deep into her specific experiences, Missy D creates an even more relatable story, with great musicality to back it up.