Slated Release Date: (Sept. 28th, 2010)
“Just Be” (audio up shortly)
“Play The Game” f. Kenn Starr (ditto)
“Let’s start from the beginning/At the top of the list”, Mello Music Group did it again. Apollo Brown did it again, and for those of you whom were wise enough to peep “Grind Season Vol. I”, Boog Brown did it again. Set for release on the 28th of Sept.,the “dirty drums” of Apollo Brown meet the poignant, effortless delivery of Boog Brown for the perfect marriage of nearly flawless production and elegant lyricism (but, Boog can battle with the best of ‘em, when provoked, don’t sleep). So bring on the cheesy lines, just what can Brown do for you? (Also, if you notice the U.P.S. moniker was dropped, for “Brown Study”)
So, more of our readers are likely more familiar with Apollo Brown than Boog, so let’s talk about the production aspect of the album first. Simply put, if you’re expecting more of the thunderous basslines and more uptempo jawns in the form of the hailed “Brainwash” remix from Apollo’s “The Reset”, you’re not gonna’ find that type of production on “Brown Study”, to a certain extent. Understand, much of Boog’s lyrics found on this LP are deeply personal and self-reflective, tracks such as “Shine” and “Carpe Diem” find Apollo toning down his production tactics (yet, still keeping it undeniably Hip Hop) and the BPMs a bit, resorting to sparse drum kicks and piercing hi-hats that mesh perfectly with Boog’s poetic verses. My favorite cut from “Brown Study”, “Just Be” is undoubtedly Apollo’s crowning moment as the airy, atmospheric backdrop serves as the perfect summer anthem for you and yours.
However, as I mentioned before, both Boog and Apollo can turn it up when need be, as tracks such as the Kam Moye-assisted “Friends Like These” and “U.P.S”, boast more aggressive production and lyricism. The clever take on the ills of the music industry, “Play The Game” (which also features Kenn Starr of Low Budget) offers up Boog’s most honest, yet most venomous moment on “Brown Study”, even topping the battle raps of “Friction” (featuring Miz Korona and Invincible).
It’s almost inevitable, but Boog will undoubtedly draw comparison’s to Jean Grae and there were instances throughout the LP, that Boog’s delivery often rivaled that of Jean’s when she’s in here “Love Thirst” mode. Yet, I will say this: there’s not too many females or dudes in the game who can hold a match to either Jean or Boog, and that’s real talk. After hearing tracks such as “The Essence” and “The Best”, Boog Brown was on my radar, after enjoying the “Brown Study” LP, I’m sold. Boog Brown is not playin’ around, her flow is effortless, she laces her rhymes with clever wit and most importantly, her vulnerability and honesty shines through on each track. While she may have had in it her already, there’s no denyin’ that Apollo’s crisp production helped to bring it out of her, for lack of better wording.
Again, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Apollo Brown is the present and the future of Hip-Hop production, dude has yet to put out anything that is remotely sub-par. The “Brown Study” may not posses the same feel or vibe of “The Reset”, or as you’ll soon find out in less than two months, The Left’s “Gas Mask”. However, that’s the beauty (coupled with Boog’s memorable perfomance) of this album, it displays Apollo’s growth and range as a producer. You would have never heard the beats that can be found on “Brown Study” on Apollo’s respective instrumental LPs, “Skilled Trade” or “Make Do”, but his production caters to Boog’s element on this album. So, where will this album end up on your respective “year-end lists”? All I’m sayin’ is I’ve had the album for less then a week, it’s stayed in the Ipod, in the car stereo…and hell, even on the Iphone, and it seemingly improves with each passing listen.
Don’t be a chauvinistic pig and shun “Brown Study” simply because it features “another” female emcee. Sh*t, I’ll admit I’ve even done that on occasion. When you think Jean Grae and Invincible, go right ahead and group Boog amongst those lyrical heavyweights. It’s like I was tellin’ someone yesterday, “Boog is probably my favorite female emcee in the game right now”. So when add one of my favorite emcees in Hip Hop with one of my, if not my favorite producer in Hip Hop right now, it’s extremely hard to find fault in the “Brown Study”. Cop It. September 28th. Period.