Whether you've heard of him yet or not, Rod Wave has been causing quite the fuss. Despite gaining traction in the Soundcloud world, he has little in common with the type of rising stars typically associated with the platform.

Boasting a tired, soulful presence that belies his youth - the rapper is only 19 years old - he weaves streetwise, often sad, narratives. His latest, and first song of 2019, 'Hard Times' boasts a mournful, bluntly thudding beat, and more than ever, Wave establishes a personality and sound truly his own.

Comparisons to Kevin Gates may cease to persist: more and more, the young artist is finding his voice. He's slowed down his flow to allow more of his world-weary charisma to shine through, and it greatly benefits his presence. Considering the tune is a loosie, simply a stopgap between projects, it's more than promising.

Check out 'Hard Times' below, and stay tuned for more from Rod Wave soon.