By Jack Barnes
Following his triumphant return to hip-hop after nearly two years of silence with The Art of Rock Climbing, Boldy James releases “Do It,” the first single from his forthcoming mixtape House of Blues, due February 27th. “Do It” starts with a tenebrous piano, bolstered by inky synths dripping from the shadows, and a beat that rattles off crispy snares and hats which mirror Boldy James’ trap-influenced bars. In “Do It”, Boldy turns his razor-sharp tongue to the highs and lows that come with dealing dope, from how his uncle “taught [Boldy] how to put them bricks back together” to hiding “100 thou in a mattress.” Despite the nebulous subject matter, Boldy’s veracious lyrics and obsidian-edged flow remain laser-focused, attacking the beat with a rhyme-scheme that proves yet again why he was cosigned by the lyrical titan Nas. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.
Boldy James explains the significance of his upcoming project: “I named the project House of Blues for a couple reasons. My first show with Nas was in Chicago at The House Of Blues, so it was a monumental moment in my rap career, but it also refers to a particular period in my life in Detroit. Me & my big brother Blue, we used to sell blue pills out of a blue house on a street called Blue Hill, with a blue-nose pitbull. In so many words, everything was blue. On the new tape, I’m trying a new sound, bringing in some elements of trap music–trying to bridge the gap for people who are biased against that kind of music. I’m releasing the project on 2/27 because 2-2-7 is a number of significance to me, the ConCreatures, and a bunch of other groups from my area of Detroit, like Double Dee & The Game Time Mafia, Redi-Rock & The Bully Boys, the list goes on. 2-2-7 is my bread and butter and I hold it near and dear to my heart.”
House of Blues represents a change-up to Boldy James’ sound. Forgoing the Golden Age-era production for sharper and brighter beats, James brings his high-energy flow to a more modern aesthetic, and the result is a splash of ice-cold molly water to the face. Aggressive lyrics and right-hook flows intermingle with anthemic choruses, adding a new flavor and heat to Boldy James’ already mouth-watering sauce. Swag, cash, and crackling percussion are the fuel, amping up Boldy James’ sound into a whole new beast – get ready for the sizzling House of Blues, out February 27th.
Born in Atlanta but raised on the Eastside of Detroit, Boldy James has synthesized eye-opening descriptions of his poverty-stricken hometown and biting lines about time spent selling cocaine into a signature sound. In 2011, Boldy James’ mixtape Trapper’s Alley Pros and Cons was named by Pitchfork as one of 2011’s Most Overlooked Projects, and after a follow-up mixtape in 2012, James returned with his debut album My 1st Chemistry Set which was entirely produced by The Alchemist. Following the success of his first album, Boldy James signed to Nas‘ Mass Appeal Records in 2014. His hard-hitting flows and lyrics are on full display in his most recent project The Art of Rock Climbing, but expect some new trap flavor from the upcoming mixtape House of Blues.
House of Blues Tracklist:
- Do It
- Now You Know feat. Rocaine, 50 Gwuap Jay C
- Surve feat. Project
- Ho To Hustle
- A Couple feat. Rocaine, 50 Gwuap Jay C
- Hit It feat. Gunplay
- Maserati Rick
- On My Way Up feat. Rocaine, 50 Gwuap Jay C
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Props to Mass Appeal Records