A Boogie wit da Hoodie – The Bigger Artist
Released: 29 September 2017
The Bigger Artist by A Boogie provides a decent balance between A Boogie’s melody-street based rapping and his signature post-relationship serenades, proving him as one of the more polished rap-crooners of his contemporaries. Part of what makes A Boogie so impressive, is that he’s performing all these different types of songs and melodies with a Rap voice many would deem weak or un-noteworthy. He’s excelling with an average skill-set, really shining light on his creativity.
Interpolations on this album
In my TBA EP review, I said that A Boogie wears his influences on his sleeve, almost to a default, at the time bearing strong comparisons to Drake. The Bigger Artist marks the end of my Drake comparisons – A Boogie has carved out his own niche style and lane. However, he continues to wear his influences visibly on his sleeve. A Boogie seems to draw on inspirational interpolations to add R&B sections and bridges to his songs. I’ve provided a brief list below of different vocal and melodic interpolations I caught A Boogie attempting on this album, it’s not a comprehensive list; it ranges from Maroon 5 to Lauryn Hill:
1) “I be tryna stop thinking about you but even when I do
I be reminiscing bad things I did
And I know you hate me, you hate me” – A Boogie on “Unhappy“
“I think about a ring and all the things that come along with you
You make me” – Usher on “You Make Me Wanna“
2) “Need you to win for me, care for me, care for me
And if you care, make time for me, make time for me
And when you lie to me, it just be killing me” – A Boogie on “Get To You“
“Care for me, care for me!
I know you care for me!
There for me, there for me!
Said you’d be there for me!
Cry for me, cry for me!
You said you’d die for me!
Give to me, give to me!’ – Lauryn Hill on “Ex-Factor“
3) “I can’t keep making up stories
She said goodbye and left me in the cold (woah, woah, woah)
If I can’t take it, I’m sorry
I need good vibes, if not, leave me alone
I swear I hate to see you walk away
But you look so damn good when you walk away” – A Boogie on “Stalking You“
“This love has taken its toll on me
She said goodbye too many times before
And her heart is breaking in front of me
I have no choice ’cause I won’t say goodbye anymore, woah, woah, woah” – Maroon 5 on “This Love“
The album begins with absolute FIRE with “No Promises”. Words cannot explain how PSYCHED I was to hear A Boogie spit his XXL Cypher verse in the 2nd verse of “No Promises“, which I always said extremely fire. The way Boogie fades in and out of rap bars to R&B melodies is reminiscent of SFG-era Drake, but even more refined as A Boogie delivers uncanny lyrical cadences and internal rhyme schemes rarely heard in Drake’s discography. Perhaps the defining moment on this album is when A Boogie spits:
“Something ’bout blue faces, I like money conversations
Whole lotta 20’s that’s basic, nigga, fuck it, I’m shameless
Can’t fuck with a snitch nigga, if you get caught, don’t say shit
Have you ever met another nigga like me? I bet you won’t say shit
I went from rags to riches
I bagged the bitches that gave me the straight face
I hit the baddest bitches
It’s sad but I had to curve ’em the same day
I treated them bad
I wouldn’t be mad if I was to get treated the same way
So treat me the same way, same way, same way”
The first four bars are rapped in a stoic melodic cadence, and the next 4 bars dismisses any formal rules on rhyme pattern count within a stanza, as Boogie seamlessly transitions from melody to a nearly double-time double-internal rhyme pattern “rags to riches/baddest bitches” while simultaneously introducing the “straight face/same day/same way” ABAB-skewed type rhyme pattern in those same bars. Jaw-dropping, I know.
The Bigger Artist is absolutely booming throughout the first 5 songs, a smooth 20-25 minute ride into the album. The album’s most successful record, “Drowning ft Kodak Black”, lives up to its massive streaming number and chart position. It features A Boogie rapping a tight melody over an infectiously melancholic piano loop; A Boogie displays his rapping ability as he rides the same flow for the entire song. Kodak puts in his 2 cents in the 2nd verse, but the song does not need him! I appreciate Kodak’s music; he shows flashes of musical ability such as on Paining Pictures, but other times, such as on “Drowning“, he is just plain unbearable.
“Click here to sign the petition for A Boogie to remove Kodak Black from, or remix “Drowning“”
“Somebody ft Don Q” is this album’s sleeper. The beat is ALL California waves, produced by DJ Mustard. A Boogie and Don Q float all over it – as a matter of fact, every Don Q appearance on this album is impressive including his appearance on “Money Sprung” – a banger, I just wish the song ended with the hook repeating once more instead of the abrupt stop following Don Q’s last bar.
Overall, The Bigger Artist is the logical sequence in A Boogie’s discography. He has improved in almost every aspect while still keeping signature nuances that his fanbase loves. My only gripe is whether or not the amount of interpolations that A Boogie does will hinder him in the future; also, some of the R&B songs don’t hit hard enough for me. Songs like “Bad Girl ft Trey Songz & Robin Thicke” and “Fucking & Kissing ft Chris Brown” don’t go that extra mile into R&B vocality and vocal performance that R&B is known for.
The Bigger Artist has enough bangers to lead us into 2018 and the Don Q collaborations are good enough to place Highbridge The Label as one of the premiere up-and-coming rap groups/labels in Hip-Hop. Don Q delivered in a big way on his 2017 Corner Stories project; A Boogie delivers here with The Bigger Artist. Next album: The Biggest Artist?
4 out of 5 stars: Great album, few noticeable flaws.
P.S.: Make sure y’all sign that petition for A Boogie to remix or remove Kodak’s verse from “Drowning”! No offense to Kodak, the song is so great it deserves a proper 2nd verse or no 2nd verse at all.