Hackney-born Bree Runway released her debut mixtape ‘2000AND4EVA’ in November, finishing off a spectacular year of collaborations with artists such as Rina Sawayama and Yung Baby Tate, bursting onto the scene as one of the most versatile voices in new pop.
After finding her feet with a great first EP in 2019 with ‘Be Runway’, Bree is back and more bold than ever. Smashing through the overly white focus of the recently repopularised Y2K aesthetic, ‘2000AND4EVA’ is a bold throwback to early 2000s stardom with Bree’s fusion of hip-hop and pop running across all nine tracks.
The experimentation on this mixtape is astounding, from the confidence exuded on the opening ‘APESHIT’ and chill ‘ROLLS ROYCE’, to the name-dropping electronic chug of ‘LITTLE NOKIA’, the latter filled with name-drops of early 2000 icons like Kylie, Madonna, Britney and Justin. Electronic-pop legend Rico Nasty makes a featured appearance on the closing ‘LITTLE NOKIA’ remix to bring her classic enthusiastic rap vocals, with an energy that is matched brilliantly by Bree throughout.
The most iconic track from this debut, now with a slickly directed music video released this January, is the collaboration of Bree and Missy Elliott on the decadent ‘ATM’. Serving unforgettable lyrics like “You know what I need and there ain’t nobody finer. Shoes, top, skirt, bling purse – all designer”, Runway does not seem out of place at all when paired with music industry legends like Missy and an earworm of an electro hip-hop beat.
Furthermore, although Bree uses a brief and intimate interlude on this mixtape to memorialise her dearly departed close friend Nicole Thea and her son Reign, the softness and sorrow of the track carries the same beautiful lyricism shared by even the most dynamic songs on this mixtape.
With one of the top releases of the last year, Runway establishes herself as one of the most effervescent new pop megastars, debuting with a cohesive work of non-stop hits. If Bree maintains this strategy of collaborations and visceral personal projects, she is set for a rising career to match those of the early 2000s legends that have the privilege to be mentioned on this mixtape.
Text by: Leo Dawson