So remember last year when I hoped that Buddy would shine real soon? Well, he’s certainly on his way.
I’ve been listening to a great deal of Harlan & Alondra lately, the debut album of Cali rapper Buddy, and I’ve been enjoying it immensely. To recap, Buddy hails from Compton, the home of Kendrick and N.W.A. and has the vibe, demeanor, and drive to go far. Originally getting the cosign from Pharrell, Buddy languished on the phenom’s i am OTHER label and eventually hopped ship for RCA Records, where he wasted no time getting to work on his proper debut LP, which was released in July. Named for the intersection where he grew up (and fun fact: His EP with Kaytranada, Ocean & Montana, was named after the intersection where he lived after moving out of his parent’s house), Harlan & Alondra is an autobiographical record, as Buddy delves the rough place he calls home, and how the experience made him the person that he is today. There are moments on this record where it feels like Buddy’s an old soul, trying to do right, trying to make his family proud, and constantly striving to stay one step ahead of trouble when he’s just on his way home. Overall Buddy keeps matters very chill, with a half-rap, half-sung style and very laid back, West Coast sound that’s rooted in the ’90s but feels very modern. He strikes a good balance of smooth, summer bangers and serious, personal, real life shit.
And that’s where I’m at with tonight’s post. The album’s opener, “Real Life S**t” has been on steady repeat for me for a minute now. There’s a breezy feel to this song, from the smooth beat with a bass knock made for rattling your car’s speakers, to Buddy’s effortless approach. Here, it feels like he’s getting a weight off his chest and healing through the music, as he shares with you his struggles to stay on the good path and keep his head right with one foot in the rap game and the other in Compton. It’s a listen that feels right at home with the West Coast legends.