The ever-looming call of summer grows closer. We will soon enter the time period of fewer clothes and more skin exposed. It’s a beautiful time of the year where frozen drinks are widely consumed, beach trips are spontaneous, and smooth, soulful music is blasted through car stereos. Payroll Giovanni and Cardo came together at the end of January for Big Bossin Vol. 2, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed Big Bossin Vol. 1, that is tailor-made for summer’s weather. Whereas the first one was a brief dip into the laid-back lifestyle of the OG, the second is a full-blown vacation. It takes the concepts explored in its predecessor and repackages them, reselling a similar product back to us, the consumers.
Now that the dust has settled and the project is more readily understood, is it still as good as it was when it came out?
In short, yes it is. A project is made up of the sum of its parts. The subject matter is admittedly the biggest aspect that goes into digesting music, but, here, the delivery shines in a way that helps it to transcend time. The message’s packaging is so authentic and precise that the quality of good music shines through clearly. Cardo’s soulful, sincere, and chilling productions bring out a new side of Payroll, one that magnifies the best of his abilities and shrinks the worst of them.
It helps that the weather gets warmer and that this album is meant for hotter temperatures so that its meaning can evaporate into thin air, inspiring new understanding when this happens. The juxtaposition of smooth tracks like “Stack It, Stash It,” and “Mail Long” showcase the project’s versatility and the willingness of both artists to explore more than just one sound. “Dopeman Dreams” and “Turn Ya Phone Off” make use of magnetic refrains that add to the prestige of the album and will help it to transcend time in a way that it’s already doing but at a much larger scale.
But, perhaps the cover art sells it best. The two purveyors of rap’s new go-to sound ride in a convertible car, the blue sky and sun shining brightly behind them. This is the warm weather that we’ve been asking for; it’s only right that we have the accompanying music to go with it. Thanks to the staying power of the album, it looks like it’ll continue to pair perfectly for years to come.
Russ Is Right, Exploiting Drug Addiction For Money Is Wack
Russ has made it clear for over a year now that he’s not for the glamorization of drugs for money. He recently got into a Twitter scuffle with Fat Nick, a known user of lean and narcotics, with the two debating about his fascination with drugs and how the latter makes money off of it. Nick frequently posts his drugs and merchandise that contains drugs online and sees nothing wrong with it. Russ however disagrees. And, after seeing both viewpoints, I daresay I agree with Russ. Glamorizing drugs is wack, point blank.
Rap music was founded in tough times. The best hip-hop to come out of the genre’s Golden Era focused on the hardships that people faced during daily life. Coping with these hardships came natural. Drug use isn’t new. However, the way that drug users are fetishizing these drugs is. Lean, Xanax, and Mollies have become as popular as the music itself. With rappers posting their drugs on social media and dedicating so much of their creative energies to showcasing their fascination with drugs, many kids try them out because the artists they look up to love it.
Nothing good comes out of this besides addiction and death. Xanax pills look fun until you’re trying your best to kick the habit while the withdrawal symptoms kick your ass. Let Mac Miller’s story inform you about the dangers of overdosing. Lil Tracy had a heart attack because of his drug usage. There’s nothing good to come out of using these drugs. Yet, new age rap stars align their aesthetics with drugs because its in and it sells.
This exploitation is no joke and needs to be talked about. Starting a conversation about it will enable the proper action to happen and, hopefully, the way that drugs are exploited for money can be addressed.
Why Ella Mai’s “Trip” Is Better Than “Boo’d Up”
Everyone thought that “Boo’d Up” was the one. Ella Mai’s viral summer single became the talk of the season, a meme due to its widespread popularity across many age, racial, and gender groups. Many thought that Mai lucked up into the DJ Mustard-produced single, attributing much of the song’s success to the producer. But little did they know, “Trip” would come behind it and show that Mai is much more than a one hit wonder.
“Trip” released on August 3 and has been somewhat of a slow burn for the public. It’s a lot darker and moodier than “Boo’d Up”‘s ceiling-less mood. There’s a lingering piano that acts as the song’s lifeblood. When Mai comes in with her surprisingly deep voice, she offsets the equilibrium and swings things in her favor. As it goes on it become a catchy earworm that far outpaces the ceiling of “Boo’d Up”
With all of this said, her debut album, expected to arrive this fall, will be interesting to take in. Has she exhausted all creative avenues in her brilliant two first singles? Or will she continue pushing the culture? “Boo’d Up,” was one thing. “Trip” is another altogether, showcasing that she has a lot still left up her sleeve.
Listen to “Trip” below.
Bay Area Music That You May Have Missed This Week
Here’s our weekly collection of music out of the Bay Area that you may have missed this week. This week’s collection is one of our favorites, with a majority of the tunes being bombastic, lively jams to bolster the energy coursing through your veins. Tune in below: