Stunna June, the melodiously rugged Tongan vocalist from the East Bay, released his debut full-length OTR 930 this past Friday. The record offers a tropical take on ‘90s-inspired hip-hop, and is so jubilantly self-assured that it makes you believe you could take a surfboard to asphalt. Hustling has never sounded quite this decadent, with Stunna June’s songwriting rooted in the heaviest hitters of trap-rap radio, but buoyed by glimmering flourishes and phrasings.
Between the inlands of Atlanta and the theoretical island he mentally inhabits in the booth, June is tethered to his roots in the Bay. The inspiration behind the title of OTR 930 is the combination of his “Only The Real” motto, alongside his family ties to Oakland stretching from 90th Ave to 30th Ave. In his words: “The Bay Area has a lot to do with who I am today both as a rapper and as a person. From the way I dress to the type of music I listen to. There is no place like the Bay and won’t ever be; we’re the most lit people.”
OTR 930 finds June flexing the edges of his stylistic idiosyncrasies, and invites a number of friends from the Bay (Kamaiyah, Iamsu) and beyond (Kevin Gates) to come into his world and help him start the party. Kamaiyah’s contribution “Money Like This” is particularly a standout, featuring the distinct vocal trademarks and buoyant percussion that made the Oakland emcee’s debut A Good Night In The Ghetto one of this year’s most expressive, gratifying tapes. The Gates collab “No Problems” is similarly enjoyable, with the two rappers fronting irreverent dispositions to stunt over a lush pitter-patter.
Prior to OTR 930, you may have noticed June’s work behind the boards for the likes of YG, Yo Gotti, and Mozzy. And soon he’ll have a production and feature credit on an upcoming solo single from Fifth Harmony’s Dinah Jane, who is also of Tongan descent. The two linked up through family connections and quickly established a rapport after entering the studio the night of Jane’s most recent concert in the Bay.
But while June’s trajectory is leading him to increasingly notable heights, his sights are set firmly on what’s immediately ahead. “OTR 930 is my first project I ever released and I just wanna get heard and put a face to my voice so people can really know who Stunna June is,” the rapper said. After that? “Just tryna get out the hood, tryna live life lovely somewhere in a mansion with my day-ones.” Based on the momentum of OTR 930, it’s only a matter of time.