After waxing poetics on the criminally slept on Project Move album Butterfly Theory (and before that as part of Electric Company’s other super overlooked piece of work, Life’s A Struggle), Beantown’s Raheem Jamal has chosen to set his sights on a solo offering to display his natural abilities. Coupled with producer Raydar Ellis for Boombox, Jamal attempts to do much more than be just another emcee out of Boston. With a rhyme style reminiscent of the early 90′s, Boombox looks to bring us back to the times before shiny suits, bling and “haters” ran rampant.
Everything on Boombox feels good. Jamal’s smooth voice and Raydar Ellis’ production prove to gel superbly throughout. Silky smooth joints like the Project Move assisted “Goodvibe” work out brilliantly as nothing but dopeness oozes from the track. The title track features Raydar’s groovy guitar loop slithering in between Jamal’s alphabetical slanguage. Another beautifully placed track is “Not The One” with yet another beautifully placed guitar loop surrounding Jamal’s lamenting of previous endeavors in love.
“The Thang” is another example of some simply good hip hop with the racy production powered by a melodic hook. Nothing is too complex for the listener to devour. You get doses of braggadocio (“Live It Up”), consciousness (“Act Right”) and love (“Never Be Afraid”) throughout Boombox and with Raydar providing a sufficient soundtrack, there isn’t really much to complain about.
If you really had to nitpick the problems with Boombox, one could only say that it doesn’t really break any new ground. For those who like their music “progressive”, Boombox may not exactly be for you. But for any lover of good ass hip hop with no frills and gimmicks, Raheem Jamal has the right prescription of that goodness for you.
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