Planet Vegeta - Letters to Chi-Chi (REVIEW)
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Mark the date. March 12th, 2021, this is when Western Sydney group Planet Vegeta dropped one of the most creative and unique pieces of music that Australian hip-hop & R&B has ever seen. The EP, entitled ‘Letters To Chi-Chi’, enlists the full creative effort of the pioneering force behind Planet Vegeta; members SVNO, LKGD and Jazz Nobodi. The final product of their hard work is an inventive, soulful and sophisticated listen by a group who thrive in their inimitability in and amongst the Australian music space.
Aesthetically, the EP is inspired by the popular animated series ‘Dragonball Z’ with the members of ‘Planet Vegeta’ existing (both literally & figuratively) in a separate universe to our own. The title, ‘Letters To Chi-Chi’ is in of itself a reference to the infamous cartoon, with ‘Chi-Chi’ being the eventual wife of Goku, the show’s main protagonist. Hence, the songs in this EP are partly a homage to a show which has had an undoubted influence on their work. It’s this type of vibe and individuality as a group that not only differs them from others in the scene, but it showcases that their confidence is unflappable in the pursuit of forming a unique artistry and distinct sound. They are in fact ‘Super Saiyans’ in this vast music scene.
Prior to this EP, Planet Vegeta were making waves in the music industry. From opening up for Tasman Keith at the back end of 2019 and being named the winners of the ‘Triple J Unearthed’ competition, to performing at Field Day 2020 off the back of their debut single ‘Jorja’, their music has left me in awe of not only their talent, but the group’s humble nature and selflessness. Read on to discover one of the best EPs of the year already!
‘Like Dat’ is a funky, energetic and upbeat tune which sets up the diverse tone for the EP as a whole, with Planet Vegeta signaling their intent to create a piece of music that features an array of sounds from hip-hop to R&B to soul. The production on this song is by far one of the strongest I’ve seen this year, with the subtle use of an electric guitar adding a contrasting sound to the futuristic feel of the track. This finely tuned niche which Planet Vegeta have moulded for themselves shines on ‘Like Dat’ and allows for an otherworldly listening experience.
Here we see a cleverly thought-out combination by Planet Vegeta and the popular animated series ‘Sailor Moon’, a show based on the adventures of a teenage girl and her destiny to defend the galaxy. The song itself though is anything but cartoonish, with a contemporary jazz feel mixed with hip-hop to create an oddly satisfying listening experience. Each verse feels like a lyrical battle with the victory coming in the form of a catchy hook and us as the listener being the ultimate winner. This was a smartly crafted song which shows that Planet Vegeta is undeniably slept on. These boys are ahead of the game and everyone else is playing catchup.
Being the first release by Planet Vegeta ever, ‘Jorja’ irrefutably still shines as a masterclass in creating a contemplative and love-smitten atmosphere. This song speaks on the flawlessness of the titular Jorja, a figure who resembles perfection in the eyes of Planet Vegeta. The track sees the trio conveying that one mustn’t need to change in order to win the approval of others, as they’re perfect just the way they are, a pertinent metaphor for life itself. The crafty use of those sumptuous synth keys and some cleverly crafted lyrics make this a special song and one of the best on the EP.
'Covid92 - Raw Session'
Some say that adversity builds character, but for Planet Vegeta, adversity reveals who we really are. From the outset, ‘COVID92’ creates a daunting and unnerving aura as Planet Vegeta tackle the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. However, contrary to the murky ambience created by the production, the lyrics offer up a different perspective. Specifically, the lyrics provide the listener with a spectacle into the human condition and the rays of positivity that can breach the walls of darkness which so often envelop us. Planet Vegeta use this song not only as a platform to showcase their triumphs during the Covid-19 era in Australia, but as an inspiration to provide hope to those bogged down through the hardship of the pandemic.
On ‘Mai Elle’, Planet Vegeta demonstrate their limitless creatively by producing a song worthy of any occasion. This track is a perfect concoction of LKGD’s production skills, Jazz Nobodi’s effortless bars and SVNO’s angelic-like vocals on a track that is built for pure enjoyment. In addition, we are gifted a surprise Anderson .Paak sample and a cheeky Stormzy reference in a song that had me going Super Saiyan. ‘Mai Elle’ is an unmitigated testament to what Planet Vegeta are about, this being that they’re a group who is continually prioritising creativity and versatility in the art they produce.
‘Charlie B’ is the third song from the online series ‘Sunday School’, a series which highlights those of whom have supported Planet Vegeta from day one. As the only song available on Spotify from the series, ‘Charlie B’ provides a change of pace compared to the rest of the EP. The track offers up a feeling of serenity and tranquillity, with the use of a flute offering a sensual experience. However like many of their songs, there lies a deeper meaning, with the trio paying homage to Charlie B and the waiting for his eventual release. A truly brilliant song.
As the final song on this EP, ‘You’ is the perfect embodiment of creativity, finesse and flow. Here we see the brotherhood in full effect as the listener is reeled in with a catchy hook from LKGD who takes the lead on the production as well. Either side of the hook we see the diverse nature of the group, as SVNO captivates the listener with his brilliant vocals and Jazz Nobodi provides a lyrical masterclass. This is one of the hardest hip-hop deliveries on the EP with a flow that is maintained incessantly throughout the song, making for an instant standout. A fantastic conclusion to a magnificent project.
Sometimes, full-length projects contain pieces of music which can feel forced with artists simply putting out music and adding filler songs with no meaning or contribution to the final project. However, this EP doesn’t miss a beat. Each track is as essential as the next, with Planet Vegeta combining a variety of eclectic sounds that make for a fascinating and peculiar listening experience which gets better every time. If 2020 was the year that heads started turning for these boys, 2021 is going to be their breakout year. With talent in spades and an unbreakable bond, they are a group for the ages. The rest of Australia needs to take note, Western Sydney music is on the rise and Planet Vegeta are at the forefront.
- Sailor Moon
- Covid92 - Raw Session