Wakai & Emmavie – Starter Jacket

Anyone tapped in with streetwear trends will remember Starter jackets; the iconic windbreaker-style fleeces had a major moment in the 90s and stood the test of time, popping up everywhere from “Coming to America” in 1988 to Jack Harlow’s “What’s Poppin” music video in 2020. Wakai considers his Starter jacket one of his most sacred possessions; he won’t let just anyone wear it, let alone post a pic in it to Instagram. Yet in the video for his latest single “Starter Jacket,” featuring UK singer Emmavie, the Baton Rouge rapper/singer grants his love interest the chance to do both, a true mark of commitment, even if he only “thrifted it for five dollars.”

Wakai and Emmavie court their respective women in the “Starter Jacket” music video. While his girl wears his green jacket, Wakai sports a variety of vests over baggy sweatshirts as the two traverse the streets of New York City. Emmavie turns up the romance to 10 though in her scenes, sharing a bottle of wine with her girl on the couch and then singing to her on a city rooftop at dusk.

It’s the vocals that jump out to me on “Starter Jacket.” Wakai carries a slightly rough edge and a bit of a Southern twang in his delivery, while Emmavie balances him out with a gentle tenor and buttery vocal layering that almost reminded me of BJ the Chicago Kid. While Wakai’s lyrics see him debating whether he wants to commit to this girl, the beat and vocals still make this a warm, neo-soul offering. The Starter imagery only adds to the nostalgia.

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