Buddy - Harlan & Alondra
Harlan & Alondra
Buddy is one of the newest rappers out of Compton. Harlan & Alondra is his first LP and feels like it is soaked in the classic Los Angeles hip hop style. The album's first track "Real Life S**t" sounds like a retrospective of the things that make G-Funk and LA hip hop great. The problem is Buddy doesn't do all that much to set himself apart from the pack. The topics are the same; where he is from, how he's living, and where life has brought him now. His flow is fine, but with superstars like Kendrick Lamar and Vince Staples repping LA right now Buddy seems like a pale shadow. You keep wanting him to say or do something interesting, something unexpected but it never comes. The ad libs, the half assed skits all feel done before, and done to death. "Black" with A$AP Ferg is a base level trap you can find out there. The bass doesn't even clap like it should on a track like this. Buddy wants you to be impressed by his flow, but it's never all that great and what He is saying feels hollow. Ferg actaully somewhat saves the track with an interesting flow, but it's not enough to make you come back again. There is a real lack of bangers on this record, in that there are none. Nothing makes you hyped or pulls you in. The entire album feels like an inside affair, people who worked on the record might get it and see the stories behind it, but Buddy never allows those to translate to the listener.
"Hey Up There" with Ty Dollar $ign is corny as hell. The song sounds like a classic love song but ends up only being about Buddy being himself. It sounds childish and goofy. The song leads into "Legend" which is a 45 second track where Buddy declares he's a... you guessed it: a Legend. "Trouble on Central" feels like it could have been an amazing Warren G and Nate Dogg track, but in Buddy's hands its this silly song that is as on the nose as anything out there. He never turns a phrase or makes you think one thing than deliver another, it's exactly what you expect from start to finish. "Trouble on Central" eventually devolves into a song about mentioned places in LA. The album just feels like an exercise in futility. The 80s and 90s R&B inspired numbers are the ones that feel absolutely ridiculous. "The Blue" with Snoop Dogg is fucking horrid. From start to finish it is absolutely absurd an exact replica from the jams back in the day, with no effort going to upgrade it what so ever. It is almost like Buddy wants to be as silly as DRAM, but He always misses the mark. When He tries to go sexy on "Speechless" it is laughably bad. Truly a bore from start to finish, this is likely not the debut the rapper was hoping for.
4.0 out of 10