In Review

Teen Rapper Payday’s Anticipated Mixtape 'It’s Just Music' is Fun, Refreshing, and Finally Here

Audrey Brandes

Payday, the California-based rapper and artist just dropped her latest mixtape, It’s Just Music-- a punchy, in-your-face, concoction of 11 songs that range from laid-back melodies to braggadocios anthems. Having amassed somewhat of a cult following with her unique sound and playful lyricism, Payday’s latest release showcases her indisputable skill. And did I mention she’s just 16?

Right off the bat, Payday solidifies her stature with playfully provocative rhymes juxtaposed with her sweet tonality. The album opens with an alarm clock ringing in the trumpety beats featured on a standout track: “Smiley Freestyle,” wherein she boasts:

You ever notice how the bitches that hate are the scummy bum bitches with no food on they plate?

However, she reels some of this cockiness back in the song’s closing:

I’m not even that good, why’s it taking so long? I’m not even cool, I been faking all along.

We beg to disagree. Payday captures the simultaneous self-doubt and self-assuredness that only a 16-year-old can perfectly describe. Relatable, humorous, and profound, she relays her mindset with an air of comedy. And she does so masterfully. Her tracks dance between vulnerability and intimidating confidence, constantly surprising us with each transition. “Supreme Underwear” sounds like the soundtrack to a coming-of-age film, while closing track “Beam” is a catchy IDGAF anthem that has already garnered a ton of well-deserved attention.

Payday is completely self-made: she spent her youth enveloped in creating beats and rhymes on her $14 Kmart mic while constantly moving across the country. However, the one thing that remained constant was her ever-growing craft. Her break-out track “Super Thicc” attracted the attention of listeners and musicians alike and catapulted her into the music scene. Now, she’s proving that she’s here to stay.


Refreshingly, Payday’s “It’s Just Music” reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously but also makes you feel like you can take on anything, anyone, and at any time. Now that’s impressive. Stream Payday’s “It’s Just Music” here.

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