Boogie delivers raw and emotional debut album

John Melendez

It is not very often that an artist’s debut album is filled with deep introspection and maturity. While the pressure of creating a successful breakout project can cause artists to vie for radio hits, 29-year-old Compton rapper Boogie’s Everythings for Sale is an emotional project that isn’t afraid of being open and real.

After three successful mixtapes, the latest of which was released in 2016, the California rapper caught the attention of Eminem’s record label Shady Records and was signed in 2017. Since then, fans have waited with anticipation for the rapper’s breakout album. 

Everythings for Sale is a 40-minute, 13-track LP that is as relatable and real as it is refreshing and thought-provoking. In the opening track “Tired/Reflections,” Boogie delivers spoken word poetry over elegant and gentle guitar strings that set the mood of the project. It is quickly apparent that the production on this project is cleaner and more complex than anything he’s done before.

Fans familiar with Boogie know the rapper often mixes rap and singing, but never has Boogie reigned in on his impressive rapping so much in order to let his softer R&B side shine. Standout tracks in the moody, ambient atmosphere Boogie has delved into include “Silent Ride,” a laid-back track accompanied by a hypnotic, subtle flute that pushes the song forward at cruising speed, and “Skydive,” a love ballad that demonstrates Boogie in his best singing performance on the album.

The most mature and promising track on the album, “Whose Fault,” is a raw, melodic track full of self-reflection that tells a story of Boogie’s dysfunctional relationship and his struggles as a father. The track is accompanied by a powerful performance by Grammy-nominated jazz trumpeter Christian Scott.

R&B star 6lack, up and coming rapper J.I.D. and Boogie’s own boss Eminem all deliver strong guest performances that are the cherry on top of a project that would be just as strong without any features. The few upbeat songs like “Rainy Days” and “Self Destruction” show Boogie’s versatility as an artist and prove he is just as capable of producing gritty, trap-infused party anthems full of uncanny bars and delivery.

While Boogie may have chosen a shorter album runtime to prevent an oversaturation of music all too common today, it is the short length of most tracks that prevent the album from reaching its full potential. Great songs like “Soho” and “Live 95” feel over almost as soon as they begin. 

Themes the album explores, like turbulent relationships, fake friends, changing one’s flaws and staying true to one’s self could have been further explored and solidified through additional verses. The skits in which Boogie talks and argues with a woman only somewhat provide a storyline and leave the listener wanting more insight as to what the overarching message is.

Despite Everythings for Sale being a debut studio album, it is unequivocally the Boogie fans know and love. The project demonstrates that the artist is not playing a persona, nor is he afraid to address his own flaws. Boogie raps and sings about what is true to his life, and in doing so he has created a mature and impressive project that takes multiple listens to fully appreciate.

Rating 4 / 5