ALBUM REVIEW: A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – ‘The Bigger Artist’

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie continued his personal groundbreaking year on September 29 with the release of his debut studio album, The Bigger Artist. A 2017 XXL Freshman Class member based out of Bronx, NYC, A Boogie was one of the more deserving newcomers, with a few chart-topping hits in ‘Jungle’, ‘Drowning’ and ‘My Shit’. None of the three were particularly jaw-dropping, but they were catchy and showed A Boogie’s potential and solid, energetic flow.

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A Boogie’s ability to make catchy, fun hits earned him a 2017 XXL Freshmen spot.

Surprisingly, A Boogie had a very short list of features on this 15-track, 51-minute project, which is a risky move on a non-concept album for a rapper that isn’t considered a true ‘lyricist’. This album comes on the heels of his 2016 project, ‘Artist’, which was hit-or-miss and didn’t bring much to the table aside from the singles.

Track Listing

  1. No Promises
  2. Undefeated (ft. 21 Savage)
  3. Drowning (ft. Kodak Black)
  4. Say A’
  5. No Comparison
  6. Unhappy
  7. Let’s Start Over
  8. Get To You
  9. Somebody (ft. Don Q)
  10. Money Sprung (ft. Don Q)
  11. If I Gotta Go
  12. Fucking and Kissing (ft. Chris Brown)
  13. Bad Girl (ft. Trey Songz, Robin Thicke)
  14. Stalking You
  15. Beast Mode (ft. PNB Rock, YoungBoy Never Broke Again)

Review

-mikey-

4/10

Fav Tracks: Undefeated, No Promises, No Comparison, Unhappy

I’ve always been perplexed by A Boogie, because I’m a fan of singles ‘Jungle’ and ‘My Shit’ and appreciate his talent compared to some of the other garbage XXL freshmen this year, but hadn’t really enjoyed much else of his stuff, including his previous project, ‘Artist’. I think he has a pretty solid flow and he’s fun to listen to when he’s at his best with catchy beats. However, I was looking for A Boogie to show some more versatility and consistency when approaching this album.

Immediately, I was pleased with ‘The Bigger Artist’. Right off the bat with the opener, No Promises, the beat drew me in and A Boogie’s flow and eerie sound throughout was a good fit. He used his XXL Freshmen cypher verse for this track as well, but it was actually pretty solid lyrically.

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‘Undefeated’ brought out the best of 21 Savage.

Undefeated, with 21 Savage, is by far my favorite track. With 21, you need a particular beat to elevate his sound, and this certainly fit the bill. Say what you want about 21, but on beats like these his laid-back, sleepy flow sounds dope as hell. I actually think this was the best feature on the album and one of the best verses on the project. This was a great collab.

Track three, Drowning, with Kodak Black was a single released earlier in the year that I’m not super fond of, although I do think A Boogie is decent during his appearance. Kodak, on the otherhand, is absolutely pathetic on this track. Sometimes, Kodak’s flow and lines are so bad and lackadaisical it’s actually humorous, but here, his whole verse is inexcusably trash.

A Boogie continued performing well though with Say A’, a track that has production very similar to a D.R.A.M hit like ‘Broccoli’ or ‘Cash Machine’ with the high-pitched piano throughout. I don’t think it was executed perfectly well by A Boogie in terms of delivery, but overall it was a positive. A Boogie then rode a Metro Boomin beat really well with, No Comparison, and even though the track was over four minutes, the sound continued to evolve and never got boring.

Unhappy was another really interesting mix of a youthful, playful sound with high-pitched piano in the background, but an element of trap as well. A Boogie showed me some versatility with his voice in this track, too.

Now, six tracks in I was really pleased with this project, and it was especially impressive considering A Boogie had only needed one feature to accomplish such. But damn, this album really fell off a cliff starting with Let’s Start Over. To be fair this track wasn’t trash, just pretty average and somewhat boring, but it’s where the album began going downhill.

Lyrically, Get To You was really bad even for the average standards I hold for a rapper like A Boogie. No doubt this sounds like a filler track ahead of two more fillers featuring Don Q, Somebody and Money Sprung. Produced by DJ Mustard, ‘Somebody’, sounded exactly like a Chris Brown track, and I’m curious if CB was enquired to make an appearance on this because it would have his style well. Don Q had a decent feature, but I don’t think A Boogie’s voice fits this type of production. ‘Money Sprung’ was a track I’ll never return to as well, and Don Q didn’t add anything with his verse.

Track 11, If I Gotta Go, randomly gets really deep lyrically as A Boogie talks about death, but it almost made me laugh because of how serious the subject was while at the same time I just couldn’t take him seriously. Lyrically, this didn’t fit in with the idea of the rest of the album.

Fucking & Kissing with Chris Brown was laughable at best. This was the weirdest, most deletable track on this album and one of the strangest tracks (in a bad way) I’ve heard this year. Lyrically, this was fucking terrible.

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A Boogie and Chris Brown combined for a lyrical, interesting and simply superb chorus on ‘Fucking and Kissing’

By the time, Bad Girl, arrived, I realized this album probably wasn’t getting any better, and it didn’t with this track featuring Trey Songz and Robin Thicke. Basically a PG-13 version of Fucking & Kissing, this is another skippable track with basically no positives. The features didn’t add anything. Same goes for another completely bizarre track, Stalking You. You don’t even need to listen – just look at the title – and you’ll understand how strange this song was. I mean the chorus is some straight Jacob Sartorius shit…

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A Chorus that could go perfectly with a MattyB track on ‘Stalking You’

The finale, Beast Mode, is okay. A Boogie sounds the best on this, which doesn’t say much because PnB Rock and YoungBoy NBA had some cringeworthy verses. The chorus and beat are pretty catchy, but man the features couldn’t have been worse. Why end your debut album with a horrendous YoungBoy NBA verse?

I can’t remember the last time an album was a complete tale of two halves like this was. The first half was actually pretty good, but the second half was at times unlistenable.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what changed, but in general A Boogie himself had a varied amount of positives and negatives on the album. The lyrics and ideas behind tracks such as If I Gotta Go, Fucking & Kissing, Bad Girl and Stalking You were just hilariously awful. Aside from 21 Savage, the features were generally horrendous and added nothing, so he needs to work on finding artists that fit the bill better for certain tracks. Of the eight features, at least six were completely forgettable.

There’s no denying A Boogie has some talent and is an enjoyable listen when he’s at his best, but his decision-making and song concepts must improve for him to develop as an artist. There’s a good handful of hits here I’ll return to for awhile, but there’s just too many duds on The Bigger Artist.

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