Cincinnati rapper, Buggs Tha Rocka, was recently hailed as the “Best Hip Hop Artist 2014” by the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and it’s quite understandable as to why. Buggs’s influences are said to be names belonging to that of the Golden Age of Hip Hop and with a strong incorporation of conscious rhymes, intelligent wordplay and creative flow. But his latest work in question is Scattered Thoughts Of An American Poet which is meant by Buggs to be a precursor for a new EP and album due for commercial release in 2015. A precursor or not, Scattered Thoughts Of An American Poet is an excellent listen.
Off the bat the album starts with an amazing rap, spoken-word, jazzy introduction track that sonically portrays (with great accuracy) on what to expect for the rest of the album in terms of flow, production, and lyrical message. For me the intro has a 80/90s black power soulful feel and it was refreshing to hear something like this in 2014.
The fifth track, Until the End, is where things begin to get more serious in tone with its message. And the message here is mainly a lament about the troubles of the black community and the ceaseless war with the police. This track really could not be more relevant, especially in regards to the no indictment verdict of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri and subsequently the no indictment verdict involving Eric Garner’s death in Staten Island, New York. Here are two lines to give you an idea, “Walking through your hood could get you Trayvon’ed” and “Police are like math books, they always got a problem”.
The album has a great introductory number of tracks and usually things begin to sag around the middle for a number of artists, but I am happy to say that this album (for me at least) got better as the album progressed. The soulful messages remained the same but the more lighthearted and playful tracks were great and with some hooks that will easily get stuck in your head. My favorite of these was the one on the track titled Thirsty with the fresh hook where you hear “She lookin’ thirsty cause I’m cooler than a Colt 45.” This track would fit perfectly in a blaxpoitation film.
The track following was OuterXSpaceXLove and I was surprised how much I enjoyed this song, especially when the chorus kicked in. It was an old school, sexy (yes, sexy) R&B joint and I wish it was longer. This track made me want to go back and listen to some old school R&B that I’ve long forgotten over the years. Anytime R&B and Hip Hop mix it always a plus for me, and this track did it damn well.
After my initial listen of the album, I was debating which section I enjoyed the most (the introductory tracks, the middle tracks, or the concluding tracks) and really I made no definitive choice. I instead came to the conclusion that I really enjoyed the whole album. In its entirety it felt focused and it properly maintained its old school soulful vibe with both the serious and lighthearted message-filled tracks.
If Scattered Thoughts Of An American Poet is only a precursor, then we need to brace ourselves for what Buggs will be bringing us in 2015.
You can follow Buggs That Rocka HERE on Twitter.
Scattered Thoughts Of An American Poet will be released on December 10, 2014 via Monopoli Management Group. Below you can watch the video for Bad Habits via YouTube.