To say A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s debut mixtape Artist (free download here) was a commercial success would be an understatement. Tons of articles have been written about the brilliance of the tape, his “modernization of New York Hip Hop”, sudden buzz, his music that blurs the line between trap & r&b and much much more. In June and July it seemed like every influential music blog was covering him, all adding insight into the soon to be superstar.
Not only have industry professionals and journalists sung his praise, but he’s added a few notches on his belt in the last few months. He rose to the top of the Pandora Trendsetter’s Chart (ranking up and coming artists with the highest number of stations), opened up for Drake, sold out countless shows, and signed to Atlantic Records.
If you haven’t heard the tape, I urge you to do so. Much like when I heard Young Thug for the first time, I knew he would become the next industry darling because of how different he sounded. His voice is calming, lyrics simple but effective, and story inspiring.
The project dropped in February of this year, so many of you have probably digested it. But, if you are on the fence about it, haven’t listened, or want to know the best tracks to check out, read on. It’s time to list the top 5 tracks of the tape (in order).
1. My Shit
Even if you haven’t heard Artist I’m almost certain you’ve heard My Shit. It’s everywhere, on iTunes curated playlists, radio, and bumping out of cars (even throughout Chicago.) Apparently the song was made in 30 minutes which just blows my mind. It has all of the elements of a hit song. A bouncy summertime beat from D Stacks, an addictive hook, and fun lyrics on women and their love for the song. It’s easy to say this is the best song on the tape just based off of popularity, but is also just really really good.
2. DTB (Interlude)
DTB is the best interlude I’ve ever heard, hands down. I’m not sure why Boogie called it an interlude as it is the longest song on the project, but it certainly doesn’t matter. It is rare to find a rap song about relationship issues that are this catchy. Throughout Artist Boogie has a pretty up-beat tone to his voice even when speaking on hardships, but DTB has him sounding the most hurt. The song is essentially about a woman that Boogie regrets having been in a relationship with, and his anger that she’s gotten with another guy. This experience has lead him to not trust women (hence the titled of the song which stands for “don’t trust bitches.”
It is a sad conclusion to make, although I am at a point in my life where I don’t either (kidding, but serious.) Boogie gets a little vindictive towards the new man around the 1 minute mark saying:
That other nigga gon’ fuck up running his mouth, bitch
How I fuck him up and drown him in a fountain
Leave that lil nigga somewhere in the mountains
But now I’m like “What the fuck, nigga”
DTB is relatable, dark, and sounds really fucking good.
3. Trap House
Artist has a few songs sprinkled in that don’t touch upon relationships, but Trap House is the best one. The chorus is repeated an incredible 5 times in this just over 3 minute track which is a huge part of why I love it so much. Boogie also spits some straight up bars on this one.
When you step into my bando, you gonna have to light a candle
Window open for the damn smoke
Nigga listen to the damn flow
I don’t think they understand tho, they want me dead but I can’t go
That was all they ever planned for, Louie V with a Kenzo
If you come to my trap house talking crazy I’ma back out
Nike gloves with a mask out, I couldn’t wait to try this Mac out
I’ma be up in this trap house, till’ I count up then I pass out
I don’t know what’s in my stash now, check me out I’m in my bag now
This is some of the best wordplay on the album and will hopefully be continued, perfected, or expanded upon in upcoming songs/projects.
4. Always On Time (Bonus Track)
Ja Rule and Ashanti have always made magic. Their run in the early 2000’s was so great to see and hear. They haven’t made a bad track together and I truly hope they collaborate again. To hear the instrumental flip on the closing track of the tape was a welcoming shock. I wasn’t surprised to hear Boogie make it work. He switches from rapping about his ride or die woman (“we ride together, we ride together, be honest”) to a short history of his childhood (“I grew up bumpin’ Cassidy and Beanie Siegel”) and observations of his environment (“watching crack heads squeeze up on that needle”) There’s a lot to love about this one.
5. Friend Zone
Friend Zone is the perfect anthem for any individual that’s been curved by a woman (it happens often, just check out your Twitter feed.) Not only does this woman want to just be friends with Boogie, she continues to have sex with him and call him. It is interesting to hear a male rapper feel a little upset about this situation, but this is what makes Boogie so appealing. Honesty, and no fucks given if he sounds weak.
The light and airy beat by D Stacks (who complements Boogie extremely well throughout the tape) is reminiscent of My Shit and is almost just as catchy. Just an all around stellar track.