June 06, 2017

A-Boogie wit da Hoodie

Bronx sensation A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is the Big Apple's newest golden boy. Coming through like a summer's breeze, the youngster with the melodic flow and bemusing name has the streets ablaze with a string of tunes that blur the lines between Trap&B and rap.

Unlike hotshot predecessors like Bobby Shmurda and Desiigner, who quickly grew from bubbling to buzzing thanks to viral Vines and label deals, this Highbridge, BX native has built a wave through grassroots marketing that is neither attached to a sixty-second clip, dance move, nor big-time label deal. In fact, as of this writing, there aren't any standout interviews to even speak on. However, what is out there is the music which, despite being developed within a short time frame (one year to be exact), has already awarded A Boogie the kind of following that has everyone talking and listening.

 Listening to his music, the obvious is demonstrated through his penchant for creating infectious melodies and easily digestible bars. He isn't a wordsmith, nor is he one of those trendy, trap-happy rappers either. In his signature unforced, sing-rapping flow he exudes the kind of dexterous formula that wins on radio and the speakers of Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz and Benz (word to Lost Boyz). Just as comfortable rapping as he is singing, A Boogie flashes a rare versatility and style that is freeflowing and allows for him to dance over the lines of R&B ("Half On A Baby," "Still Think About You") and street rap ("Jungle," "Not A Regular Person").

The only time Artist strays from that lyricism is unironically, on A Boogie’s breakthrough single, “My Shit.” The buoyantly braggadocious song may sound like Atlanta, but the swagger is all king of New York 50 Cent. That tough, but warm approach has been the under-acknowledged calling card of New York rap for the last few decades.

“I used to grow up listening to Cassidy and Beanie Sigel,” raps A Boogie on “Always On Time,” which only appeared on the original mixtape version of Artist. His first turn to pop isn’t as bold-faced as the original, but on his cover of the Ja Rule and Ashanti song, A Boogie skillfully balances street toughness and pure romantic openness. It’s a skill lost on many New York rappers in the last decade, who become obsessed with maintaining a narrow vision of the city. A Boogie’s music always inwardly reflects the troubles in his head, but he doesn't turn his concerns into larger-than-life narratives or motifs. He's just trying to make sense of his own emotions.