Boogie is a rapper and vocalist from Compton, California. He made a name for himself in the underground world with his debut mixtape, The Thirst 48 in 2014, before breaking through a year later with his follow up, The Reach. He was immediately notable for his ability to bring his own real life experiences to his lyrics in a visceral way in addition to his unique, gospel inspired beats. He signed to Eminem’s Shady Records label in time to release The Thirst 48 Pt. II as a continuation to his debut mixtape.
After signing he received a strong push from the label, including a ton of features with artists like Denzel Curry, Royce Da 5’9, and a strong cypher at 2017’s BET Awards. When his major label debut, Everythings For Sale was announced, anticipation was high as Boogie’s unique sound was expected to benefit quite a bit from the full funding treatment. Despite the odd decision to release such an anticipated project in January, this record certainly didn’t disappoint.
The full studio treatment comes through immediately in the form of excellent beats and a wide instrumental pallet. From the bombastic horn section on “Who’s Fault,” to the reedy woodwinds on “Silent Ride,” listener’s never quite know what to expect on a track and it works extremely well. Not to mention the live drum kit on tracks like the “lolsmh,” interlude that benefits from sharp rimshots and explosive cymbals.
The features list also shows signs of the new studio, though the performances are a bit of a mixed bag. They range from JID’s fantastic verse on “Soho,” and Eminem’s technically impressive pass on “Rainy Days,” to 6lack’s formulaic and boring work on “Skydive II,” which all but ruins what could’ve been the best track on the record.
As for Boogie himself, he’s fantastic. Lyrically, he deals in topics like mortality and death before switching effortlessly to a track like “Self Destruction,” that focuses on drinking and partying and then coming right back to a track about his divorce. He’s incredibly heartfelt and visual, particularly on the more nocturnal tracks like “No Warning.”
The most noticeable and strongest aspect of the record is Boogie’s flow. From the opener, “Tired/Reflection” where his tight scheme plays well off of the jazz instrumental, to the closer, “Time,” where he’s far more relaxed but no less emotional, his rapping is simply captivating. In fact, it’s the tracks that lack a rap verse where the record does fall short.
The influence of artists like Chance the Rapper is worn quite boldly on his sleeve, and it works on a track like “Live 95,” where the old school, R&B vibe lends itself to Boogie’s strong ear for melody. Unfortunately, his singing is hardly capable of carrying a full track. This becomes painfully obvious when one hears a song like “Swap Meet,” or “Skydive.” Here, the lack of a strong verse makes the tracks feel somewhat aimless, and by the time they end, they feel like nothing more than unimportant interludes.
Luckily, this is rarely the case as the majority of the album is excellent. Everythings For Sale simply doesn’t feel like a debut LP as Boogie’s meaningful lyricism and wide array of flows makes him a strong front man for such a well made record. Boogie is one of few young and exciting acts on Shady Records and with this being his first LP on the label, he’s showing quite a bit of promise. One can only hope that the label will give him ample opportunity to succeed and that he keep up the strong performances on future releases.
Everythings For Sale is a very strong debut from an exciting young artist.