It’s difficult for a rapper not to succumb to his geography when he’s from Compton. Buddy avoids this pitfall: Mentioning the two streets on whose corner he grew up in the name of his first album is already distancing himself from the neighborhood’s reputation. He sees himself as a “regular nigga on an irregular mission” (“Real Life S**t”).
The album reveals a pressing need for money, but Buddy doesn’t want to fall into venal fame. This idea was already conveyed by Kendrick Lamar (“Wesley Theory “) and Childish Gambino (“This Is America“), and that positions him in a rap that is more conscious than gangster.
The musical frames of reference attest to that. The trap/G-funk corpus embodied by Snoop Dogg and Ty Dolla $ign is broadly embellished by jazzy soul elements. Buddy combines rapped invectives (“Black”) and committed melodies (“Young”) whose authenticity manages without the vocoder. The young artist has found his voice but hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. Harlan & Alondra closes with “Shine,” a two-year-old song that he readily describes as “street gospel.”
Buddy, Harlan & Alondra (RCA)
- 12th September, Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, US
- 13th September, Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver, Canada
- 21th September, Cayuga Sound Festival, Ithaca, US