This review was originally posted HERE:
An artist’s ability to clearly communicate a story, as well as to connect his specific story to others’ stories, allows him to transcend contexts and genres and almost ensures longevity.
Boogie‘s unique tone and diction combined with production that accentuates and doesn’t compete with the lyrical content on The Reach, pulls the listener in, confronting him/her with the complex content and themes therein.
Boogie has an ability to tell his story with piercing clarity, explaining the tension found in being a young man, young father and affiliated with gang life, a combination that can, and certainly will be misunderstood, especially by the the surface observer/listener. Anyone willing to allow himself/herself the space to take in the mixtape, to give it multiple listens and to listen to the emcee who has put himself under the microscope, will undoubtedly be impressed by the vision this young man has.
Boogie was raised in Compton and now resides in Long Beach, CA and he carries both on his back with pride, perfectly embodying the essence and vocabulary of each. As stated earlier, his story becomes that of his peers as he tells tales of life in two difficult settings, while not glorifying the “negative” aspects of life in both the CPT and LBC. Based on the album, the impetus for the work Boogie has put in, both internally and externally, is the birth and life of his five year old son. Upon becoming a father, it sounds as if Boogie has looked at life with an even more critical eye – as you listen to him, you can’t help but assume he has always been a somewhat critical thinker.
After the first listen, I fell in love with The Reach, especially because Boogie’s stories echo the stories of my students in both Compton and South Central and he helped me to see and understand layers of my kids’ lives that I previously couldn’t connect with. I guarantee that listeners will connect with Boogie and will be challenged to understand, empathize and love their neighbors with a greater sense of awareness and urgency.
Boogie is a voice of a generation in a context where voicelessness is the norm, and his peers experience a great sense of frustration in their society-supported silence. Boogie’s talent and skill are overshadowed by the size and implications of his message, but he is no slouch on the mic, whether spittin’ bars or crooning in Drake-esque fashion, and is a well-rounded artist.
I heavily suggest multiple listens and that you share this music with people from every walk of life, whether it to be encourage them to persevere until the goal is attained, or to encourage a greater sense of empathy in those who may have a narrow view of those outside their cultural, geographical, socio-economic, etc strata – this album is for everyone.
Peace, Love & Hip Hop,
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