King James the First

Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game.  A wise Queens emcee once uttered those words.  For Detroit native Boldy James, the rap game IS the crack game.  And trust me, I’m usually put off by the talk of bricks and coke deals and intricate street dreams that seem more like a bad movie than a rap record.  But King James does it a little differently.  His tales are more confessional than boastful.  His bars stretch over beats that seems hand selected from crates full of golden age bangers from the days of Mobb Deep and G. Rap.

Consignment: Favor For a Favor is the latest project from Boldy James, and it’s a monster.  With 26 six tracks clocking over an hour-long, this one is a ton to digest.  But that’s what I love about the tape.  James features seemingly every neighborhood rapper in Detroit and accepts beat donations from Blended Babies, Black Noise and M. Stacks.  Although long-winded at times, there are moments of greatness here…and it’s only his second tape.

Boldy reminds me of Havoc and Prodigy back when they had something to prove and left everything in the streets.  His deep voice reflects shades of Bun B, yet there’s enough hubris to make you think of Cali’s favorite name dropper, Game.  This guy is buzzing underground, but not for long.  This tape is meant for a marathon listen.  Let it bump.


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