Not known for this particular style, New York is a host of some of hip-hop’s greatest and most recognized talents. Some of the most well crafted rap albums were made in this city of grit and grime and A Boogie is looking to soften the edges. Coming off a very successful debut tape that was Artist, he found feature spots on PnB Rock & Fetty Wap’s collaborative mixtape, DJ Spinking’s project–which this tape also features and also led him to open up for Drake on a few shows during his tour. In contrast to the percussion-heavy production New York is known for, each of the songs on this tape start with modulated piano keys or airy synths.
This EP starts off with a really triumphant song in “Ransom” and gets more somber as the tape plays on. To get one thing out of the way: All the hooks on these songs are extremely infectious and will have you wishing you knew the words just to sing along. “Ransom” has the most radio-friendly bpm making this an easy one to slip into a #party playlist of sorts. For only being twenty years of age, there is a certain maturity in his music that is rare amongst the new wave of rappers. His work has always come off polished, but the content is also surprisingly clean yet still extremely catchy. The DJ Spinking collaboration, Timeless, is outstanding. The production on this song has A Boogie changing his flow repeatedly. Even though it runs in as the second shortest song on the tape, for me it was the most memorable, but the reference to Gucci Mane’s “Wasted” could also be the reason for that.
Backtracking a bit on the tape, I would just like to point out the softer, more subtle drums on “Macaroni” which provided a sparse soundscape for the artist to mix up his vocal range. Along with “99 Problems & Messages”, these songs show off his philosophies when it comes to women, relationships–particularly sliding into social media inboxes–and how seriously he’s already taking his craft. It also contains one of my favorite hooks from the mixtape that has me trying to match all of Artist’s notes while closing up at work. The last two songs quickly get more personal; on “Baecation” he talks about the types of adventures he’d take, well with someone he considers his “bae”. This consists of sitting on beaches, partying in vegas, driving expensive vehicles, etc. but he sends a reminder to the woman he’s with that it’s still money over everything. This philosophy also comes into play in the last track “Wrong N*gga” where it seems like this could be a song directed at a specific person in A Boogie’s life. He ends this tape by sending shots at old haters and warning new ones saying he is not the person to try and take advantage of.
This has been a tape I’ve kept coming back to since the release and I think A Boogie is on the right track to leave his staple in the genre. As far as I’m aware, this project was entirely self produced, aside from the DJ Spinking collaboration, which is extremely impressive. It’s obvious where he draws influence but his roots give him a certain flavor that helps him stand out even with the tough competition from his city. Hopefully we can see an A Boogie and Tim Vocals collaboration at some point.