Album Review: Boogie – Everything’s For Sale

Genre: Rap

 

In 2017 following Eminem’s showstopping BET freestyle, Compton-based rapper Boogie was announced as one of Shady Records’ newest signee alongside Westside Gunn and Conway. Given how overlooked his 2016 mixtape Thirst 48, Pt. II was, it’s an exciting prospect since that he was about to have a mainstream spotlight shined on him. Yet the news was also a concerning one due to the label’s handling of its artists’ creative output (see: Yelawolf, Slaughterhouse).

Fortunately, those worries were unfounded. Everything’s For Sale sees Boogie improving on nearly all fronts. From the production choices to his intimate lyricism, the album front-loads Boogie’s career with the kind potential that’s reminiscent to Kendrick Lamar’s when he first hit the mainstream with Section.80.

 

On first listen, Boogie’s voice is very reminiscent of Chance the Rapper’s but with more grit and aggression. His slight nasally tone and rough delivery serve as a delightful complement to the mostly mellow-tinged beats of the record. Yet, what separates Everything’s For Sale from most hip-hop albums today is its surprisingly potent amount of wholesomeness. By choosing to be confessional with his listeners, Boogie separates himself from most of his peers as he humanizes himself.

One of the most memorable instances of this is when he admits to drunk-texting SZA on the track “Self Destruction”. Thirsting on a fellow industry peer with complete disregard on the repercussions, it’s this vulnerability Boogie exudes that makes his music so intriguing. It’s not often that a rapper is willing to humble himself in order to deliver a product that encompasses who he is as a person.

I told myself I won’t gon’ wife up no more ratchets, I’m stoppin’
I told my mama I won’t go back, then I went back on my promise
Yeah this that act like we don’t know this where our actions have got us
You know my son ain’t have no money braggin’ ’bout Benihana’s
But it’s still fuck your broken system, postin’ pictures

After showing glimpses of it on Thirst 48, Pt. II, Boogie once again excels at his talent on conveying the raw emotions of everyday relationships into his music. On the 2nd single “Silent Ride“, he wrestles with the idea of his significant other scrolling through his private texts, and of her unwilling to confront him about them despite the things she’s found out. Then on the standout “Whose Fault“, he navigates through the muddy waters of a break up between a couple that shares the custody of a child. Taking on the perspectives of both parties, Boogie paints an honest portrayal of a relationship that would hit close to home for some.

However, despite his passionate lyricism, much of the album’s content remain purely surface level. He provides a lot of commentaries and descriptions based on his life experiences, yet he often falls short of saying anything meaningful through them, often leaving it up to the interpretations of his listeners. This doesn’t mean the songwriting is bad, far from it. It’s just a tad bit disappointing that more could have been done to make the record much more fulfilling to listen to.

 

Unfortunately, a review can’t be written about this album without mentioning its most high profile collaboration – “Rainy Days” with label boss Eminem. What was supposed to be THE highpoint of the record turns into its biggest detriment. Boogie delivers an admirable performance and the production knocks too, but the very moment Slim Shady hops in with his glitchy flow, the beat switches and all momentum for the track come screeching to a halt.

Once the biggest rapper in the world, Eminem seems unsure of who or what he wants to be. Wandering aimlessly throughout the track, he brings little to the table and instead sours it with questionable lines and a lack of focus. Boogie does his best to salvage the track in the end but the damage had already been done. Still, it’s the only blemish on an otherwise very strong record.

 

Final Verdict

Everything’s For Sale is a breath of fresh air within the overtly braggadocious environment of today’s hip-hop. Choosing to envelop listeners in a perpetual state of mellowness and calm (save for “Rainy Days”), Boogie’s debut album is a strong first impression and an appetizer on what the Shady Records signee can do. As a new artist that already exhibits signs of a hip-hop veteran, Boogie is definitely a rising talent to watch out for.

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