Blaqbonez cuts the Bad Boy look with his gangly stature and stylishly dishevelled locs.
Adding Trap music to his resume amps his persona for good, and gives him the impetus to call his first full length album, Bad Boy Blaq, after an enduring perception prevalent in Hip-Hop music.
Bad Boy Blaq, coming after four well-received mixtapes, countless features and an underground cult following, is testament that Blaqbonez was winning before he signed the dotted lines on a Chocolate City record deal, but his being part of that family only upscales his winning streak.
Although his tightly done 10 track album is the third chop off the #LAMB intervention, this material seems deserving of an entirely different campaign bereft of nostalgic vainglory and messianic complexes on overdrive. Regardless, Bad Boy Blaq (BBB) has got to speak for itself.
Trap music has acquired global dominance and Blaqbonez seems to be auditioning for regional relevance through the entire span of BBB. Besides heavy-hitting snares and kicks and hi-hats, Blaqbonez articulates that edgy and syrupy sound to the hilt. He brings a motley of bougie Nigerianspeak into the mix, establishing a sound that is both local and foreign in equal measure.
The most dazzling of his abilities is playfulness. Even when the beat is hard-hitting, he brings a playful flair to his deployment of language without losing sight of his overall ambition.
What is a young man’s manifesto if not an elaborate treatment of libidinal impulses? Blaqbonez coos about bodies, rhymes play with slay, serenades with mysterious metaphors like Mamiwota, orders Taxify for comfort instead of Yellow Taxis but the most conscientious thing about his music is that he sings an entire song about Consent!
Agency, besides making mainstream global discourse, is something almost never discussed in Hip-Hop and this is where Bad Boy Blaq sets itself apart, overhauling the dominant conversation.
Blaqbonez is self-assured when he brags on ‘Denied’ that he is ahead of his time. Methinks, he is just in time.
On ‘Woke’, he sings about ‘all the fucks he never gets to use’, before advertising Chivita in an unadorned rhyme about juice. Deep in his verse, he cuts his manifesto as work-in-progress by saying he traps like Migos and has got bars like Kendrick. Although the verdict is to watch Blaqbonez for a few years, it is impressive that he is clear so early on about his aspirations.
On the crippling ditty, ‘Lowkey’, he enjoys the company of OGs like AQ and Loose Kaynon. The gist of his rap further crystallizes around grit and girls.
Terry Apala comes through on ‘I Told You’, that grass to grace testimonial that namechecks Mushin Olosha, bringing the album full circle to the brink of replays.
Bad Boy Blaq is an assured first album luxuriating in trap music and the playful abilities of a young and capable wordsmith.
Although, there are moments when the album is mired down by the monotony of syrupy sonic and slippery hard-hitting percussion, the overall listening experience is that of exuberant joy that is at once contagious and chimerical.