Call it what you will–rappity-rap, boom-bap, or “real” hip-hop–but it’s straightforward, and it’s back-to-basics road music has been appreciating something of a revival, thanks mainly to the opus by Griselda Records. Programs, the above style of music never went — artists for Boldy James have been carrying the torch underwater all the while. Now he’s latching a little of that spotlight thanks to his alliance with Griselda, James was indeed appreciating his own job revival; handful of artists the 20th century could complain to have better balanced quality. The mystery to his durability is in fact his craftsman-like attitude, one that awards reliability and consistency throughout. On Killing Nothing, he continues to relate the stories of life on the streets in the gravelly streets, seen-it-all whisper that’s become his mark. James never plays smart, entertaining, and threatening new ways to lace such skeins about the drug trade — the strength of his composing and rapper forbids the song anyone from experiencing boring sex.
Like 2020’s Big Bad, Killing Nothing has been created entirely by the Los Angeles attire and producer synergy Real Bad Man. Although they may not have the persona of many of the filmmakers James collaborated with in recent years, they remember the rapper’s flavors good. Throughout the 13 songs, they do a compelling work resembling the musically-omnivorous, sample-based exceeded and it created living legends out of Madlib and common James producer the Alchemist. As standard, James doesn’t lose an inch of fabric, a piece of music with tightly-constructed bars. Provided the speed at which he’s remained operating the last several years, it’s incredible how centered Killing Nothing feels: here’s neither heavy to speak on across the record; 43 minutes.
Take the beginning song “Water Under the Bridge” the reverberating piano remembers DJ Premier “N. Y. State of Mind” rhythm. Less than a minute into the album, James has been remembering you as to how long he’s been on the roads and just how far home his grievances fly: “But back in grade school, you were running for student council/Now you a killer and a shooter but we doubt you.” As if one could underscore the point, he eventually croons, “hundred-fifty Rounder, that’s a rumble pack!” smiling at anyone old enough to see once discovered a Nintendo 64 under their Christmas plant. The above technique is a technique that James regularly employs: putting on an eye-level reference to make even the crazy road stories experience available. The above sort of thing could experience kowtowing kneets in The fingers of a lower musician but each information in such music animals, The texture of a recollection.
However, James isn’t often intent on making his music experience familiar. On “Cash Transactions” He’s involved in a popular feature over a dirt circuit: “I’ll possibly not ever fondness the above music crap more than these cash transactions/I received a love of drugs.” He stretches out that last word “druuug” It sounds like he’s sneering at rappers who overstate their proximity to the streets. On “All the Way Out!” He skates over a rolling bassline, toss out judgements ( “None of your yeah Kills, they just received the efforts”) and compares his footwork during a gunfight to the “Hokey Pokey.” “Game Time” is really a biting moment, over a bed of steely synths, James admits, “Mama gave up on me soon!, damn near called it quits/Seemed for I never stood a chance until I hooked a construction.”
In the ongoing barrage of “Body James” releases, Killing Nothing is likely to be overlooked: it lacks The spectatistic production of Bo Jackson or The high-profile guests of The Price of Tea in China. And so it went, even James fans might not be clamoring for more music at this point. That said, it’s hard to deny how good Killing Nothing is when taken on its own terms. The sheer variety of The Real Bad Man production goes a long way to keeping things fresh; James raps on a circular guitar arpeggio “Sawyer & Associates” a jangly afro-pop sample on “Killing Nothing” and spaceship sounds on “Seventy Ninety Bands.” All the while, he sounds like a guy who has learned how to rap so effortlessly, He doesn’t know how to stop him.