“I’m tired of working at myself, I wanna be perfect already / I’m tired of the dating process, I wanna know what’s certain already / I’m tired of questioning if God real, I wanna get murdered already,” Boogie raps on album opener “Tired/Reflections.” It’s a startling string of statements for a rapper who is relatively early in his career; the release of Everything’s For Sale marks his first commercial album, although his first mixtape debuted in 2014. It sets the introspective tone that remains for the course of the rest of the album, as the Compton native raps, and at times almost sings, about depression and lost love.
Although the transparent and hardened nature of Boogie’s lyrics share a lot of commonalities with his Compton predecessors and peers, Everything’s For Sale does not sound like a typical west coast album. The jazz chords and luxurious, natural sounding-beats call to mind the hip-hop that has been coming out of Chicago, with huge influences of soul and jazz. And, when Boogie gets more melodious with his bars, the notes he hits end up sounding more than a little like Chance The Rapper, with all the endearing raspy-pitchyness (for example, listen to the hook on “Silent Ride”). This combination of west coast and Chicago sensibilities helps the album stand out, taking influence from two different worlds.
The record is most enjoyable when Boogie locks into a groove and runs with it, as on album highlight “Lolsmh (Interlude).” The first half of the track features one of the sweetest instrumentals on the album as Boogie delivers some vulnerable bars, “It’s hard for me to be happy / Wish my girl would just dump me / I done showed you all my ugly, but why the fuck you ain’t judge me? / No, my skin ain’t thick, it’s thin, it probably bleed soon as you touch me / I love it if you hate me, I hate that you fucking love me.” His flow is flawless and delivery sincere (calling to mind Saba’s incredible CARE FOR ME); on tracks when he is on, he is a very captivating and believable.
Some of the more misguided moments on the record come in the back half. Eminem is allowed to spit more “legacy-defending” trash all over the second half of “Rainy Days,” which feels unnecessary, especially as Boogie was holding down the first half of the track fine all on his own. At points the album bops back and forth thematically, making for a slightly disjointed listen. This is something that will likely come with time, as he finds his niche and perfects his craft as an MC.
If you’re looking for bangers, Everything’s For Sale is not the place to go (except for the hilarious “Self Destruction”), but if you’re fan of diaristic rap albums, this is definitely one to give a listen. At 38 minutes, it hits the right amount of breadth without dragging on and asking for too much. It’s a solid beginning to what could be a promising career.
Score: 6.8 (Solid)
For info on how we score albums see our rating scale.
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2019
Label: Shady Records/Interscope Records