Everything’s For Sale (released January 25, 2019)
Let me explain the difference between a good rapper and a good artist.
A good rapper crafts an album that rides the tide of current musical trends. It sounds relevant, familiar and current.
A good artist? He or she crafts an album that dives deeper than the current wave of music. Its relevance is more than skin deep – it connects culturally.
Boogie is one album in and he’s already proved that he’s more than a rapper. This is an artist personified.
His debut LP, Everything’s for Sale, is a no-frills look at life and relationships in 2019. It’s timely, brutally honest and downright sobering in spots. But look deeper and you’ll hear a wisdom that’s far beyond his 29 years.
The Compton MC barrels right out of the gate with “Tired/Reflections”: “I’m tired of working at myself, I wanna be perfect already/I’m tired of the dating process, I wanna know what’s certain already” reminding the listener that it’s “hard to put on war boots when you walking on eggshells.”
The song’s hook is essentially the theme of the entire LP: “Ain’t no point in using weapons cuz I’m at war with my reflection.”
Boogie is ripped to shreds by his insecurities on “Silent Ride” – while his girl loses herself the aux cord and the car stereo, Boogie is left to silently reflect on all the wrong he’s done.
Two people lost in their thoughts but not communicating with each other. It’s a fantastic examination of how relationships deteriorate while lovers sit right next to each other. Forget Steve Harvey and Iyanla – this is the guy who needs to be fixing y’all’s lives.
“Lolsmh” might be labeled as an interlude, this is certainly no stopgap track. Boogie attempts to turn a pity party into a motivational session with more of his brand of brutal honesty: “My skin ain’t thick, it’s thin, it probably bleed soon as you touch me.”
Boogie isn’t alone on this journey. He and JID make a really effective duo on “Soho,” complementing each other very well. 6lack shows up to assist on “Skydive II,” giving it a much-needed boost from its predecessor (the original “Skydive,” also featured here, meanders a bit despite some solid production). And probably the most anticipated collabo is with Eminem on “Rainy Days,” where Boogie’s understated flow greatly contrasts with Em’s usual bombastic bars. Shady’s double-time flow doesn’t mesh well with the production – he starts drifting way off beat, Big Sean style – but pulls it together by the song’s end.
The quality slightly dips on the album’s final few tracks. I know the drunk ranting of “Self Destruction” is intentional, but feels way too formulaic for such a forward-thinking album. It’s a typical turn-up track that feels really out of place here. “No Warning” and “Time” are both enjoyable as well but feel way too abrupt.
Honestly, it was hard for anything to follow the daring “Whose Fault,” where Boogie steps into the shoes of both a man and woman to provide perspective into a broken relationship. When Boogie muses, “we in darkness, but we addicted to it” it’s as depressing as it is insightful.
While I never questioned Boogie’s talent, Everything’s for Sale easily surpassed my expectations. From the dusty nostalgia of “Live 95” to his shockingly effective crooning on “Swap Meet,” Boogie’s debut is the most poignant and perceptive release of the new year thus far. Nothing comes close.
It’s truly the work of a great artist.
Best tracks: “Silent Ride,” “Lolsmh,” “Live 95”
4 stars out of 5