Buddy shows a brighter side of Compton on debut album Harlan & Alondra
Words by Husam Elgenied
A couple of weeks ago, I got to sit down with rapper Buddy, to discuss his album which dropped on July 20th. Buddy described the album’s intent: to show his different abilities on the mic, however, more importantly, the album was a representation of where he is from, Compton. He wanted to promote and display, in his opinion, a brighter Compton, without all the negative connotations connected to the area such as gun crime, gang violence and more.
Buddy had some big-name features. Names such as Ty Dolla $ign, ASAP Ferg, Snoop Dogg and Khalid grace the album. You would think with this many features it would filter or disturb his sound, however, they only enhanced his vibe and added to his already obvious talent.
5. BLACK FT ASAP FERG
“I made this song because I’m black and I love black people” said the man himself when he supported Wiz Khalifa at his London show. The song is unremorseful about the stereotypes of being black and embracing black culture at its fullest. Buddy’s flow and delivery is what makes him adaptable as an artist, this allows you to appreciate his sound a lot more. This is the first time these 2 rappers have collaborated together and we are hoping it’s not the last time the labelmates get together. Both artists use the word “black” to describe everything from mannerisms, regime and values of black people.
Favourite lyric: “Master Juba with the tap dance, Gucci with Dapper Dan, Tell ‘em kiss my black ass”
4. HEY UP THERE FT TY DOLLA $IGN
During our interview, Buddy mentioned that he was looking forward to this video coming out due to the fact that it would show a different and more positive side of Compton. He wanted to show people where he learnt how to fly and, in his words, be on some “Bad Boys 3 shit”. Also, Ty Dolla $ign can’t really miss right now so this feature worked wonders.
Favourite lyric: “I’ve been on my job too long, Damn right I know what I do wrong, Ain’t no way that, I’m gon’ change up, Now everybody better pay up”.
3. TRIPPIN FT KHALID
When Buddy exclusively told 14HQ about this feature I was really excited to see the vibe these 2 talented artists were going to create – I was not disappointed. This song makes you go through a whirlwind of emotions; both artists talk about a variety of drugs which take you on a spiritual journey from the highs of certain drugs to the same drugs bringing you down to your lowest form. The melodies are beautiful and take the album in a different direction towards the end of the project.
Favourite Lyric: “Cause I aim high, never aim low, Bout to take off like Quavo”.
This song was the first single from the album and set the tone and platform for Buddy. It follows the ever-growing gospel rap theme expressed recently by some high profile artists such as Kanye West, Chance The Rapper and more. The song is about self-enlightenment and the passage he had to take while growing up in an unfavourable environment to get to where he is at now. He discusses his relationship with spirituality, how God helped his journey. One of my favourite parts of the song is when he advises listeners to never settle and get comfortable, instead challenge yourself to achieve greater things.
Favourite lyric: “Sometimes I pace myself and take my time with it time with it, Plus I be staying in track like a locomotive and I’m planning to make it”.
1. TROUBLE ON CENTRAL
After speaking with Buddy, he described the album as the evolution of himself and his hometown, the city of Compton. This song for me embodies the whole subject of the album. It has a certain tone which could feature in a movie about the progressive city. Buddy talks about all the “finer things” he wants in life which include, girls, cars and a private jet then more importantly he wants to get out of the hood and get his family out so they can enjoy all those things.
Favourite lyric: “I wish I had a girl by my side Wish I had a brand new ride, I wish I had a light, I wish I had a private flight, I wish upon the stars sometimes, I wish I had a ride, I wish I had the finer things, I wish you wasn’t so Cobain, I wish I had you (shit), And I wish I wasn’t stuck on Central”.
OVERALL ALBUM RATING: 7/10