If there's anything that Zha shares with emo rappers like Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Peep, it's the ability to make music that feels both DIY and polished. His autotuned mushmouth means that only half of his lyrics are intelligible, but his melodies drip with feeling. You don't have to understand everything on "Di Qiu," which features the sound of something like a Mellotron, nor do you need to decipher the lyrics on the tropical "Li Bu Kai."
Zha's production on Into One Name is laced with intricate details. He embeds the infamous beat to Clipse's "Grindin" into guitar-based emo on "New," while "Something" uses a bit-crushed synth that'll take you right back to 2001, dreaming of Evan and Chan. Even the opener, "Rust," essentially just piano and acoustic guitar, carries a certain majesty despite Zha sounding drunk, barely enunciating his words. Sounding tossed-off yet profound is Into One Name's greatest triumph. On the upbeat closer, "Streets," Zha rides the broken beat like waves, coming off somewhere between a rapper and an R&B singer. It's hard to pin down what Zha is—singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, emo raconteur? He's maybe all of those and none of those.