Boogie Takes a Different Approach on ‘Thirst 48, Pt. II’
Boogie is truly one of California’s best kept rap secrets. For the past two years, the West Coast spitter has proven over the short period of time that he can write, rap and compete with the best in today’s game. Even though his catalog merely consists of two mixtapes and now, Thirst 48 Part II, Boogie’s been defining the “quality over quantity” philosophy more than most. He balances hit-worthy records with heat to feed the streets and deeper cuts for those who want more of an elaborate narrative. This tape bodes a similar positive equilibrium but with a bit more of an optimistic polish.
There are moments on his past releases, Thirst 48 and The Reach, that got mildly dark -- understandably so as Boogie’s upbringing in South Central wasn’t exactly made up of white picket fences and friendly neighbors. Even on his biggest track to date and designated banger “Oh My,” he raps about “chillin' at the park and I got shot up with a 40” -- hardly an ideal childhood. But as much as Boogie tries to keep Thirst 48 Part II on the brighter side, he kicks off this tape where the last left off.
“Still Thirsty” opens the project with a slow piano ballad in which Boogie establishes a moment of clarity, touching on trials and tribulations both past and present. “This shit turned me to a different dude/And most the time I don't be in the mood,” provides a snapshot of where he’s at mentally but thankfully hearing lines like, “Why the fuck we have to struggle?/Why the fuck we wasn't rich?” is the first and only time Boogie brings it back to his dark past.
“No Way” follows a similar trajectory to “Oh My” in terms of being a staple on turn-up playlists on most major streaming platforms. Keyel serves up a pretty typical head-knocking beat and Boogie boasts and brags all the way through with little regard for the haters. But as far as major club tracks go, “No Way” is the closest it gets -- the other dozen songs are far from uptempo and carry a much more mellow vibe. It’s almost as if Boogie let his troubled Compton kid guard down and allow the calmer parts of California living take hold of this project and steer it into a much more relaxed state.
Boogie is so gifted with the rapid-fire, striking rhymes that hearing him deliver songs about “tripping off his old thing” feels like a bit of a cop out, but it's his story to tell after all. He still comes through with solid, strong songwriting on Thirst 48 Part II but it's clear the relationship aspect is a focal point on this project.
Of course songs like "Prideful" and "Fall Before the Climb" are so eloquently put together that it's hard to criticize -- even if you much prefer Boogie in more of a brazy rap mode. In fact, the latter cut with KB Devaughan is as inspirational as it is sentimental. Plus, he gets off some clever bars too. "I'm dressed in confidence, I'm gon' give you this naked truth," he raps, which is definitely worthy of hitting rewind more than once.
Capping everything off with West Coast posse cut “Fuck ‘Em All” would have been a nice reminder that Boogie still keeps his MC bravado razor-sharp but instead, another heartfelt relationship track in the form of “Best Friend” is served. The song itself is a well told story of brotherly love but after hearing tracks of this phlegmatic nature for the past 40 minutes, the Mozzy and DJ Quik-assisted banger seems like a better fit for a closer.
As Thirst 48 Part II comes to an end, it's apparent this is a concept project centered around love, loss and smooth reminiscing. From a technical and artistic standpoint, Boogie has matured and checks off all the boxes from production to songwriting to lyrical abilities, making this a strong release without many hiccups.
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