While the sun is hot and the days are warm, it’s awfully fun to be a single person. But nobody wants to be alone during the holidays. Those who are unattached in December miss out on some of the cozier domestic treats of the season: baking, decorating, exchanging gifts, getting close. And, as hip-hop and R&B vocalist Star 2 points out in his latest single, it gets pretty chilly at night.
If you’re looking for a singer to articulate the particular combination of longing and impatience that affects single people in the run-up to Christmas, Star 2 is your man. The Thai-born, San Diego-based artist has already proven himself to be an expert storyteller — his knack for exploring romantic relationships in three-minute pop and rap songs is, by now, well established. It’s not just that he’s strikingly realistic about the challenges that young lovers face. It’s that he communicates empathy and warmth, even when he’s singing about difficult subjects. A Star 2 vocal is always emotionally nuanced: he’s desirous, but never desperate, wounded, but never immobilized, unstable, but never confused, sexy, but never salacious. He’s a character in full, in other words, a marvelous guide, and a man to know and follow.
“December,” his latest single, is a late-autumn lament, at once thoroughly believable and instantly identifiable. The girl he met in September has been scarce in November; this isn’t the way he thought that cuffing season would go, and he’s not afraid to say so. The pop-R&B track extends the candor he demonstrated on the heartbroken “Missin U” and the devastated “I Wanna Get F’d Up,” his collaboration with Midwestern rapper Luh Kel. Few contemporary artists have paired musical consistency and thematic coherence quite as effortlessly as Star 2 does.
He’s also built a reputation for artful clips. The music video for “December” tells the story in broad strokes: Star 2 is in a beautiful house, surrounded by expensive objects and markers of material wealth, but the girl he wants is nowhere to be found. Flashbacks to the summer reveal her to be worthy of his pursuit — not only is she fetching, but she’s got the kind of rapport with him that can’t be faked. They stroll on the boardwalk together, play games together, share affection. It’s almost Christmas; where is she? We’re shown the singer at the wall calendar, marking off each day with an X in black Sharpie. As summer turns to fall, the stakes grow higher, but his hand never falters, and his patience is rewarded.