I got some pretty big news.
I grew up an only child, and while it had some perks (more attention & space to masturbate, however these two things don’t go well together) I always wished I had an older sibling to give me advice. My parents grew up in a whole other country and got married in their early 20s. I can’t ask them how to get over a hangover or how to tell a girl I don’t want a relationship; they don’t have the experience. I always wanted an older Brother, someone a bit reckless but with the knowledge I need.
Long story short, I follow a lot of dudes on Instagram who’ve been to Prison. They always have great advice and give off that “if anyone fucks with you come talk to me” energy you need in an older brother. Boosie BadAzz might be my number one IG older brother.
Boosie has lived a real ass life, he beat death row, kidney cancer and has diabetes. Yet despite this he’s dropped more albums I can count and takes care of all 6(?) of his kids. I will never live a life like Boosie’s but, he drops some great jewels from time to time. Unless you ask him about gays in America...yea, just don’t ask him about gays in America.
But I digress! In 2019 Boosie Boo got his own clothing brand, cologne, perfume, liquor, potato chip, AND bottled water. That’s all pretty impressive, however what’s most impressive is that he found the time to drop the album BadAzz 3.5.
So let’s talk about BadAzz 3.5.
If you’ve never listened to a Boosie album, imagine that one nigga who stays in the barbershop who’s cool with all the barbers but never gets a haircut. Now imagine that dude was a rapper. That is a Boosie album. To those who are unaware it might sound crazy but he says some real shit about some real shit.
Boosie isn’t the most lyrical, however he puts work in to make sure every line is sincere and also rhymes with the line before it. Sometimes he’ll get caught up with the weight of his words and take a small break from rapping to reflect...all while still being on beat.
I won’t lie though, he’s made better albums than this. The song quality is there, but he kind of jumps from topic to topic. Boosie says a lot of heavy shit, so for him to go from topic to topic it’s kind of like going from doing Bench Pressing to Yoga to Heavy Squats, it can be done but pacing is necessary.
Boosie albums usually feel like he HAD to make them, this one felt like he was bored in the crib and decided to do one because he could. I appreciate the fact that he’s at a point in his career where he can drop an album whenever he wants, but I feel like with a little more thought this could’ve been a classic.
BadAzz 3.5 got me excited to listen to BadAzz 4. I give it 6 Instagram Live stories out of 9.
I really wish it didn’t take me so long to write this.
I knew I should’ve reviewed this the minute it came out because I watched Nipsey’s growth from his first mixtape to the self made man he became. I waited years for this album to drop and when it finally did I didn’t give it the spins it truly deserved.
To be fair I had just moved to New York and I was doing my best not to get swept away in a wave of rats and overpriced rum and cokes. But I digress, this month we lost one of the most motivational artists of my generation and I would be remise not to talk about his crowning musical achievement.
So let’s get into Victory Lap.
If you don’t know Nipsey Hussle, he’s a strong believer in the fact that following your dreams isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. So much so that he built a lifestyle around the belief in the Marathon. Now there’s a joke somewhere about a skinny African rapper preaching about the importance of running a Marathon, but that’s for another time. Nipsey’s belief in himself and desire to give all the steps of his journey the weight they deserve has been an inspiration to me since I was in my early 20s. For this reason the title “Victory Lap” is so symbolic because in Nipsey’s mind, the journey has been completed.
Now let’s discuss the music.
I judge gangsta rap by how much it makes you wanna join a gang. Nipsey makes Gangbanging seem so multifaceted, he’s the only Crip I’ve ever seen who could rap about shooting niggas AND give sincere opinions on Roth IRAs in the same song.
I believe everything Nipsey raps. This is a man that lived the life he put on wax, there’s no lies there’s no exaggerations, listening to Nipsey Hussle feels like you’re taking a walk with him. Everything he says happened the way he said it happened.
Every time a song starts I feel a warmth in my chest, like a responsibility to do better. This is music that’ll make you wanna knock Thanos out. No lie I listened to this album with a dangly cross earring in my ear and by the last track the earring was on the ground. Granted it was very fake and cost me 5 dollars but still, we cannot deny the realness of Nipsey. If you wanna get to work early and mean mug all your coworkers, this is the album for you.
I really can’t think of anything bad to say about this album beyond the fact I’ll never be able to tell him personally how dope it was. This album is gonna help get niggas through real stress, whether it be a job search, probation or a baby scare, Victory lap will hold it down.
This is the best body of work Nipsey put out. I honestly don’t think he had a beard before he recorded this, but by the time he was done he earned that shit. I give Victory Lap 10 Blue Flags Hanging out the Left Side (yea that’s the crip side) out of 10.
The Marathon Continues.
My goal in life is to be “Past my Prime”.
Past your Prime used to be an insult to me until I realized that it means at one point you were the best. Wack people never have a “prime”. Brian Scalabrine was never “over the hill” the Big Bang Theory never “jumped the shark”. You gotta be great in your past to have a point of reference.
TI is “Past his Prime”. TI isn’t the gold grill nigga from Bankhead rapping about survival or his Chevy, he’s slowed down, become a family man and sees a much bigger picture.
As the phrase goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, luckily TI knows a lot of words so he decided to drop a new album “Dime Trap”.
Let’s get to it.
TI knows how to rap. When it comes to putting words together there are few that are more skilled than Clifford Harris. He’s never been an overly technical but he knows how to weave words into an engaging tapestry. No matter what TI is trying to rap about you will always see it clearly. If he wants to rap about crack, you’ll see the rocks, if he wants to rap about politics, you’ll see the ballot box and if he wants to rap about saving the youth, you can see the classroom. TI knows what he’s doing, even when he isn’t doing shit, he knows he’s not doing shit.
Dime Trap is like listening to your friends cool dad break down life while pretending he doesn’t know your high. Tip casually recounts real ass situations and the lessons he learned from each one. He doesn’t sound proud of his actions he reminisces, but he does sound like he needs you to know he was out here.
The craziest part of this album is that the album is filled with drop ins from Dave Chappelle. However much like Tip he’s not putting too much effort into saying anything as he knows his presence holds more weight. Listening to Dave Chappelle’s say ambiguously motivational things is really special. He needs to do this more often.
Overall this album is a lot like watching a former Starter settle into a role as a player-coach; he can drop some hits when he has to, but it feels like he’s more suited providing the next generation with the right tools to rich the same heights.
Dime Trap ain’t Urban Legend, but it will get you to work on Time. I give Dime Trap 6.5 Cigarettes hanging out an Old Black Mans mouth out of 10.