Nello is a rapper from Pittsburgh’s North Side who infuses his world-weary bars with a hefty dose of melodic pathos.
You might guess that a song called “Private Jet Vibes” would take the form of a maximalist player anthem in the vein of Rick Ross’s “BMF” or an “I’m-going-to-complain-about-rich-people-problems” vent session (e.g. every Drake song), but you’d be wrong. Nello’s “Private Jet Vibes” is an emotive meditation on mortality and ambition, featuring a tranquil beat constructed around a beach cabana guitar sample and fluttering trap percussion. Nello repeatedly muses, “It’s like you’re born into this life/And then you gotta die,” while mourning lost sleep and lost friends. Despite his hardships, he remains optimistic, using the hook to declare, “I can’t wait to start balling/I pray I shine in the light.” In an especially vulnerable moment that occurs midsong, after singing, “Go into Highwood, it’s peace/Yeah, there is no stress,” (referring to Highwood Cemetery, located around Pittsburgh’s Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood), Nello’s voice wavers when he admits, “I’m so cautious of people/’Cuz I don’t know what’s next.” In a cold world, the dead provide more comfort than the living. “Private Jet Vibes” is a poignant prayer for success and fulfillment in the face of hardship.