Last Winter, I remember being trapped in a dorm room here in downtown Chicago during the middle of a polar vortex. Working on the usual Enigmatic day to day task list, it was around 1 or 2 AM that I got a text with one image attached from a collaborator and good friend in the talented Director of TreasureBox, a published author, and former Super Bowl Champion in MalcolmMitchell.
The photo? A picture of Malcolm and Compton born/Long Beach raisedWS Boogie in an Atlanta concert venue after a sold out show on his inaugural Everything's for Sale Tour. The caption? ‘Homie dope. WS Boogie –check him out.’
With nothing else to do, I went to Spotify and put the ShadyRecords signee’s debut album on shuffle with no real expectations. It didn’t take long to realize how special this artist I had stumbled upon in the midst of -50 degree weather was.
Everything’s For Sale is a special debut album, one that I think many will revisit later on down the road of the LA native’s career and finally understand just how good it is. With a gospel meets West Coast infused sound and lyrical ability that matches one of the GOATs in Kendrick Lamar coming from the same hometown to the hard-nosed personality and chip on his shoulder that he finds a way to translate to the booth his talent is undoubted.
He’s as close to a true throwback of an emcee as we can get in our day and age, while still carving out his own pocket for his sound since early 2014 when he released his debut tape Thirst 48. Most impressively, he’s stayed true to his sense of authentic artistic expression all the way from the underground rap scene of Compton to the office of Eminem himself.
Tracks that shined for me personally, and are still in heavy rotation, are of course Silent Ride and Time (featuring the talented voice of Snoh Aalegra). Truthfully though there’s everything from true rap records like Soho featuring JID and Self Destruction, to more vibey R&B-esque songs like the ones already touched on (and even guest features with artists like Masego) that to me show off his ability to make quality art, not just music.
Boogie artistically explores really heavy subject nature in what the mainstream industry might label as ‘conscious.’ I feel that term downplays the true artistry and personification in his lyrics and how vividly he paints pictures of the experiences he shares in the imagination of his listeners.
However, what makes me a fan of this West Coast artist is not just his clear vision with his music but how he translates it to the creative content he rolls out too. The visuals that accompanied the Everything’sFor Sale release is one of the best I’ve seen at any level of the industry.A roughly fifteen-minute short film, that incorporated every track on the album into it. Almost like fifteen individual one minute music videos all wrapped up into a complete body of work with a concept that highlights Boogie’s intent behind the album. It reminded me of Tierra Whack’s Whack World video or even sort of like the Donald Glover work Guava Island.
Even more fun, and in ‘easy watch’ fashion, were the album promo videos framed around the concepts of 90s info-commercials, car dealership ads, and more. The ugly transitions, bad animations, and bad salesmanship by what’s usually a small business owner are played perfectly by Boogie in what’s such an easy yet hilarious concept.
Boogie even went out of his way pre-Everything’sFor Sale release to meet with some of his top fans in person throughInstagram. Picking a select group of lucky winners, meeting them at anywhere from their house to their job, and playing the album for them front to back while getting an honest review from them all in real time.
From his comical personality, to the true artistry in his visuals, and of course his lyrical mastery of the music we can only hope to get more from the Long Beach native sometime in 2020. I think everyone here at Enigmatic would vouch for a pit stop or stand-alone show here in Florida with us before the end of 2020 too.