Rap Reviews Review ninety-four

Written by Wil

 

Despite such a terrible moniker, Bugzy Bogart has built a moderate success in
the shape of his label, which has released its fair share of material in recent
years. This rapper turned CEO is now stepping back into the booth to
simultaneously remind us that he still exists and to say good bye as he hangs
the mic up for good. That’s not really much of a story or anything new, although
the retirement villages clogging up with half Hip-Hop’s roster might be.
Although he’s far from a household name Bugzy has managed to collect some heavy
underground help on this CD with all three of the guests being recognizable to
most who’ve kept one ear to the underground over the last decade.

Bugzy himself handles vocal duties unassisted much of the time and is never
in danger of embarrassing himself. He’s a competent rapper whose flow borrows
touches from Big Pun, Jay-Z and, all delivered in a suitable NY twang. While his
style isn’t going to put him on the map but a strong sense of his own identity
in his lyrics avoid him coming off as just aping the greats. At the end of the
day, if you are going to emulate someone you might as well aim for the best,
plus I doubt there is a young emcee in the game these days who doesn’t include
Jigga as an influence somewhere on his list. Although his lyrics are commendable
for their honesty they’re not terribly memorable. It seems Bugz wants’ you to
relate to him and he certainly comes across as a person wrestling with all the
same problems as the common man; balancing family and career; trying to make an
impression in your chosen field and issues of faith and religion. However he
never offers up the insight or the poetic touch to express something we all know
while making the listener see it in a new light. His everyman shtick is just too
common.

When he does try to step outside his comfort zone to a wider perspective, as
he does on “Footprints” it just comes off as ridiculously simplistic as he
actually raps in the persona of God in conversation with all of humanity!

“I gave you the world and you killed my son
You question me, you
cursed me
And you’re still not done
You pray ‘Let me survive this
lord
And I’ll promise lord
For the rest of my life I’ll live honest
lord’
You live by the sword
Then you cry when somebody that you love dies
by the sword
Shit, I did it to the dinosaurs
So don’t think for a
minute
Cause you’re innit you can survive this war
You should have took
Bin Laden as a warning
‘Cause you’re just characters
The earth a cartoon
that I’m drawing”

His cause isn’t helped by some clunky production. While YZ, the major beat
contributor here, can craft a hook or two, pretty much all the tracks have their
life sucked out of them by over produced sequenced instrumentation. Nothing ever
feels organic grand strings are rendered by Casio (“Ninety Four”), cinematic
sound-scapes lack depth (“Never had a Clue”) and the pervading RnB influence is
neither catchy enough, nor accomplished enough to work as it’s intended to
(“Dangerous,” complete with a third rate Beyonce). “Sinatra” is buried under a
false vinyl effect and Wordsworth’s guest spot is lost in reverb to lend the
whole experience an air of plastic nostalgia. On “Perspective” the whole thing
nearly all comes together as a budget retread of Jay’s “Encore” but even
ignoring the fact it’s already been done better, it’s too little too late.

It almost feels bad to bag on this release because from his songs you can
tell Bugzy Bogart isn’t that different from you or me. He just happens to rap.
Thing is, while he might be a good bloke to share a beer with down the pub, that
doesn’t mean you’re going to want to buy his records.

Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric
Vibes
: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10

About the author

Wil

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