A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Unveils Debut Album ‘A Bigger Artist’
A Boogie Wit da Hoodie was destined to be a musician. After all, his given first name is literally Artist. As part of XXL’s 2017 Freshman Class, an annual assemblage of up-and-coming rappers from the magazine, A Boogie, as he’s known, made the list partially due to his breakout single “My Shit” from his debut 2016 mixtape “Artist.” That, along with a track on the “Fate of the Furious” soundtrack landed him on XXL Magazine’s exclusive list. His debut LP “A Bigger Artist” is filled with what’s become his signature melodic beats, catchy rhymes and wide-ranging themes.
A Boogie kicks off the album with “No Promises,” a tune which lyrically may sound familiar – the second verse can be heard on his XXL cypher. Amongst other things, he talks about the loneliness of being forced to choose his career over relationships: “I had to give up and put all my hoes to the side/I swear if I ever left you in the cold/It’s cause it was colder inside.” Starting the album with vulnerability is refreshing, one of the reasons the young MC stands out amongst the crowded field. A Boogie packs a lot into each and every song. Featuring Kodak Black, the now platinum single “Drowning” has been a major success racking up over 100-million Spotify plays. A raw, melodious piano riff leads a chorus detailing the pseudo struggles of wearing too heavy of chains, but sincerity comes to play later in the song when in one simple line he identifies with N.W.A. and their Compton struggles with police. “Ni**as with attitude, but we come straight out of Highbridge,” he sings before giving context in a Genius interview, “I feel like we can relate to (N.W.A.) in a way.” He continues, “Even though it’s not as real as it was with the police and all that, it’s still real. My friends right now is gone because of that police thing, feel me?”
Bravado plays a big role on the album as well. It’s all in the title on “No Comparison” where he speaks on his ability to separate himself from the rest of the pack. A Boogie brags about his speed and stamina as if he was a member of a lion pride pitching his leadership abilities. “Beast Mode” again leaves no question as to what the song is about. “Ballin’ so hard they gon’ think I got the cheat code,” featured rapper and frequent collaborator PnB Rock sings after also being featured as part of the Freshman Class of 2017. As the first official single from “A Bigger Artist,” this tune details the recent success of both rappers and the braggadocios mindset that followed.
Along with young rappers PnB Rock, 21 Savage (“Undefeated”) and Kodak Black, A Boogie brought on artists like Chris Brown for the overtly sexual “Fucking & Kissing” which describes their questionable means of going through relationships. Conversely, through more progressive and sultry ways, “Bad Girl” puts the power in the woman’s hands with the help of Robin Thicke and Trey Songz. Lines like “I might undress you and run you a bath, girl” and “Tell me to slow down if I’m goin’ fast, girl” help make this a noticeable more sensual cut than the latter.
The standout “Say A” follows in the footsteps of Lil Yatchy where chipper piano riffs create the perfect soundtrack for a day-time-cruise in a drop top. There’s not much else on the album that compares to this tune. Minor chords rule the world of trap music, particularly Boogie’s, and with the exception of “Say A,” this album’s sounds falls within the current framework of popular trap tones.
There’s no doubt that trap is having moment right now amongst the youngest, hottest rappers. It is hip-hop in 2017. Artists like A Boogie, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yatchy are on the cutting edge of this sub-genre which has quickly asserted itself at the forefront of the times. To follow the careers of artists like these is to follow youth culture. “A Bigger Artist” speaks for the teenagers, the twenty-somethings with the world at their fingertips. The ones, like A Boogie, who say to themselves, “Damn, I’m really undefeated.”
“A Bigger Artist” is available Sept. 29 on Apple Music.