Kellen Fredrickson // Evan Dale // Jan 27, 2018
As two of the founders and creative minds behind this magazine, music has obviously always been a longstanding point of connection for our friendship. Boogie, a vibrant, one-of-a-kind character from Compton, California, has been one of the most promising hip-hop artists in both of our books for a half-decade. Needless to say, the release of his fourth career project and first career album is a moment with a lot of expectation and buildup. Without discussing Everythings For Sale, both of us listen to it and pen our organic responses. Those thoughts and opinions read below.
Let’s just preface this by saying that if you have one of the undisputed most successful and famed lyricists of all time in your corner, and this said great wears a shirt picturing your likeness on stage during their headlining performance, you’ve likely done something right.
In Boogie’s case, this could not be more accurate.
The first time I ever heard of the Compton rapper, it was the music video for Oh My, one of the more hardcore tracks that the talented lyricist has put out in his illustrious discography. It had less than 100,00 views.
A little less than a year ago, Eminem wore a Boogie tee on stage at Coachella.
I don’t believe I ever could have imagined just quite how talented Boogie would become, manifesting himself not as simply another beat-heavy bopper, but rather a true magician of melody.
I really can’t stress this enough. The man is talented. And not just kinda talented. Visionary talented.
Everythings For Sale is a true coming-of-age project for Boogie. Released alongside a deeply meditative short film, this feels like the realization of a true direction.
Booge has never been one to shy away from shedding light on the true nature of life on the unforgiving streets of Compton. But it’s refreshing to see that his recent popularity and signing to Shady Records has, if anything, only sharpened and reaffirmed his direction as the contrarian to what many consider “success”.
Teaming up with his enlightened brother-in-arms JID, Soho begins with the rapper denouncing how materialistic the process of “refining an image” is.
That, in and of itself, is the iconoclastic reason I enjoy Boogie’s music so much.
He knows who he is. He knows what message his music needs to send.
If your preference in music revolves around dropping designer names and recounting glitzy evenings in overcrowded social epicenters, this is not for you.
This is raw, unadulterated truth. Through and through.
And I’m gonna say something. This project is powerful, it’s beautiful, and it is fucking incredible to listen to.
Also something for you, the reader to stew on:
This is his DEBUT ALBUM.
I’m really not sure how a debut project is capable of sounding like a third or fourth installment in a conceptual series.
But then again, Boogie is not your average artist. This album has a message, and it’s unapologetically matter-of-fact.
Be yourself. Do right by the people that run with you and have helped you to where you’ve come. All the other bullshit is irrelevant.
I’ll also go on record here and bet that when my Spotify 2019 in Review playlist comes out, I will have Skydive II in my top 10.
A self-aware love story featuring emotive heavyweight 6LACK, this is easily my favorite track on the album. And I like the whole thing. A lot.
Everythings For Sale is the perfect mix of talent, humility, and progression.
Here’s to another 24 gone, wishing we had 25.
Bravo Boogie, we can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
It almost feels wrong to be calling this Boogie’s debut album. It’s no slight to the Shady West Coast rapper or Everythings For Sale, it’s simply that every project he’s put out since the beginning of his career - Thirst 48, The Reach, Thirst 48 Part 2 - have been some of the best hip-hop projects of the last half-decade and have shaped Boogie’s foundation into one of the strongest and most unique in music. But be them only a foundation, Everythings for Sale is Boogie’s impeccable glass house, built of a duality of unfailingly strong bones and emotional vulnerability.
With an ability he’s always had, Boogie trades verses and tracks with himself that at times edge on the side of introspective R&B and at others deliver some of the most anthemic hip-hop jams in the game. One of the more talented lyricists in music today, his knack for penmanship is always present, but his tendency to so drastically and violently switch up his stylistic approach can be dizzying at times.
Once the listener finds firm footing, however, Boogie’s unique approach to hip-hop becomes especially clear in its lack of organizational congruency. Where Boogie’s music shifts and adjusts, so too does the organic matter of his mind. He raps about what he knows while letting his emotions and experiences direct the course not only of each track but of the project as a whole.
In effect, it becomes natural at a scale unmatched by stylistically stringent projects or those that air on the side of traditionalism. As have all of Boogie’s collective works. And yet, Everythings For Sale feels different.
His time with Shady Records has granted him more of what he’s always had – lyrical dynamism, meaningful discourse, personal maturity, fervent intensity – but it’s also provided him with a few new tools. World-class production, an A-list team of collaborators, and Eminem. Though at first break of the news that Boogie had signed to Shady Records, there was some uncertainty as to what guidance from Eminem could provide such a stylistically different hip-hop artist, Boogie has, just like he’s done with each subsequent project, noticeably improved. Whether it be the Eminem influence or just the culmination of years of creative self-improvement, Boogie for the first time in his career has delivered a project not only uniquely aesthetic and delectable to classicist hip-hop fans, but equally digestible for the mainstream hip-hop audience if by nothing more than bold range.
Helping to round out that range is a list of features whose collective scope is broader than projects put out by hip-hop’s most experimental elite. JID, who along with Boogie may be popular hip-hop’s brightest new star, makes the most of a short cut with an expectedly fast-paced tongue-twisting verse on Soho. 6LACK draws Boogie into a slower cadence and emotive take on Skydive ll. Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah provides his one-of-a-kind jazz horn to what may be the highlight track of the album with Whose Fault. Snoh Aalegra makes Time a romantically in-tact ballad the likes of which Boogie has delivered in the past, but the quality of which is unmatched in his catalogue to date. And, of course, Eminem provides intensity and a whole lot of questionable, controversial wordy verse to Rainy Days.
But, powerful friends in consideration, this is Boogie’s moment and no one shines brighter. For longtime fans of the Compton rapper, it’s every bit a moment of relief as it as of satisfaction. Everything we’ve loved about him since the Bitter Raps days – the attitude, the meaningfulness, the sense of humor, and the love – have not been lost, only improved upon. Everything we’ve wanted for him – the acknowledgement, the connections, the fame, and the album – are here to stay.
Everythings For Sale except for Boogie’s relentless musicality.