A Boogie with da Hoodie dazzles with his Atlantic Records debut
Ahmad Davis | Contributing Writer
Before listening to the music on the “The Bigger Artist” album, A Boogie’s album cover art is the first thing the listener experiences. The Bronx emcee’s famous diamond rings are shown controlling women as if he were a ventriloquist. This cover is a complete 360 from how his 2016 EP, “Artist,” which portrayed him as a doll controlled by the strings of a woman wearing a ski mask. “The Bigger Artist,” released Sept. 29, proclaims that Boogie is in charge now.
Boogie’s mix of melody and precise lyricism on his first full-length release will appease by hip-hop and R&B purists alike. A Boogie wit da Hoodie, born Artist Dubose, is ready to carry New York and bring attention back to the mecca of rap at the age of 21.
The album starts on a serious tone with “No Promises.” The intro track speaks to how rapidly his life has changed since his new-found success. He uses the track to explain those changes and how he and the people around him adapt to them. Serving as a fake therapy session, A Boogie croons about a fan who had their life taken at one of his shows.
The next two songs, “Undefeated” and platinum single “Drowning,” show A Boogie holding his own with 21 Savage and Kodak Black. “Say A” serves a well-deserved victory lap. The song features a funky piano beat that will definitely leave the listeners head bobbing. “Get to You” shows A Boogie in his introspective pocket. The Lauryn Hill-inspired track is reminiscent of his older heartbreak ballads.
The next two tracks highlight the breathtaking potential of the Highbridge crew. His label mate and close friend, Don Q, trade furious bars two tracks in a row. If A Boogie is Michael Jordan of the Highbridge clique, Don Q is easily Scottie Pippen. Dubose seems at his most comfortable state on these songs.
The next songs feature R&B heavyweights Chris Brown, Robin Thicke and Trey Songz, and the album slows back down in tempo. Dubose just seems to be able to flow with just about anybody at this point. His ability to stand out with such high-level features just speaks to his apparent star power.
A Boogie has shown major growth and range with “The Bigger Artist.” The Bronx emcee seems to be chosen by his city to be the leader of the reinvented New York sound. He seems up to the challenge and is now in control of his destiny.
His fans don’t refer to him as Young Michael Jackson for just any reason. Dubose proves that the hype was real. This is an essential album in the post-Drake music era. Hip-hop fans who are looking for a break from the mumble rap scene should enjoy this LP.