Artist 2.0 Review

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Artist 2.0 Review
by Leakify


Artist 2.0 comes at an important time for A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. While his last project Hoodie SZN was a massive commercial success, it received a mixed reception and left fans hungry for a definitive A Boogie project that would cement him as a superstar. Even A Boogie himself admitted that he does not think he is deserving of the title “King of New York” just yet, saying, "Realistically, I'm not there yet. I still have some growing [to do]. Until I feel comfortable to say it, I'm not saying it”. Artist 2.0 is the follow up to 2016’s Artist, in which A Boogie focuses on deeper subject matter such as relationship and love. Considering how essential Artist was in catapulting A Boogie’s early career, it is clear that he intends to make a project that is more refined than the original. In interviews, A Boogie has said that he likes to tie his album together thematically and let his fans connect the dots. Thus, I decided to follow the albums story and lyrics and try to piece it together as best as I can.


Track 1 - Thug Love
Producers: London On The Track, S.Dot, Matthew Spatola

Analysis:

A Boogie starts Artist 2.0 with an intro giving the listener insight into all the problems he’s been facing, as they’ve grown since he’s become a “bigger artist”. Like every other artist, it’s been a challenge for him to balance both his career and relationship. On one hand, he realizes that he’s in a failing relationship that he desperately wants to fix. His girl wants the “Thug Love” that he can’t give her.

“You don’t even kiss me when we make love, oh, you say that I’m a dog”

“I cheated on my girl so she want all of, all of my passcodes”

“I was an asshole, I made up time for her”

On the other hand, A Boogie’s in one of the most important parts of his career. With his last album, he proved that he can be a star in the music industry, but he still has a long way to go to leave a legacy behind.

“I just wanna be a rockstar like The Beatles”



Review:

Thug Love is a strong opening track to Artist 2.0. It’s an enjoyable listen, and encapsulates the topics A Boogie talks about throughout the album. Thug Love also does a great job of setting the overall sound of the album, with this album featuring lots of guitar-centered instrumentals instead of the piano-centered instrumentals he has used in the past. As we’ll see in later songs, London on Da Track he has a prominent presence on the album, and I believe this was one of his better beats on the album.

Score: 8.5




Track 2 - Cinderella Story

Producers: Jahaan Sweet, Carter Lang, Westen Weiss, Boobie

Analysis:

While Thug Love shows the dark side of A Boogie’s relationships, Cinderella Story shows the bright side. Even though A Boogie and his girl have had some serious problems in their relationship, he still feels like they still have a natural connection with each other. The title “Cinderella Story” refers to A Boogie’s attempts to think about the good parts of their relationship and push out the bad.

“It's a hood nigga story
But you like Cinderella stories, too”

Just like Thug Love, there’s many signs of an unhealthy relationship in this song, even in those opening lines. Deep inside, A Boogie still knows he’s in a toxic relationship, but tries to paint it as a cinderella story.



Review:

Cinderella Story is a decent song, but it is not a song that I will be coming back to often. The song topic gets repetitive, and A Boogie feels almost too comfortable on this song. It is not anything that I have not heard from A Boogie before, but that is not necessarily a bad thing either.

Score: 6




Track 3 - Me and My Guitar

Producers: Andrew Watt, Louis Bell
Analysis:

Going off of what happened in the previous tracks, his girl’s want for “Thug Love” and a “Cinderella Story” didn’t fit what A Boogie was willing to give her and things fell through. Now that one of, if not, the only people A Boogie felt he could trust is out of his life, he physically has trouble with stress

“Sweat going down to my balls, I’m having withdrawals"

Eventually, he is able to refocus on being thankful for the career he has

“I’m happy I’m still alive, ‘Cause half of my niggas they either died or in the system, and if I ain’t start rapping I swear to God I’d have been with them"

Other than that, not much more substance on this track.


Review:

To me this is definitely the “hit” of this album. It really isn’t much more than an angry breakup song, but it’s catchy enough that it works here. Parts of this song are certainly influenced by rock music, which is something A Boogie has not really explored in the past. The song is a natural hit without making it feel like A Boogie's forcing it.

Score: 10




Track 4 - Might Not Give up

Producer: Nick Mira
Analysis:

Now that A Boogie is free from his relationship, he is ready to focus on his "rockstar lifestyle" that he has been searching for.

"Rock star lifestyle might not give up
Wake up everyday next to different bitches"

However, A Boogie still can not stop himself from thinking about the relationship was in. As much as he wants to forget about her, she was the one that kept him grounded and focused all along.

"Now I'm still thinking 'bout the times I was wit' ya"


Review:

For many people, this is one of the best songs on the album. However, this song did not appeal to me at all. I waited in hopes that it would grow on me, but not even the Thug feature could save the song for me. Between the beat and the verses, the song just feels like a filler track. It's repetitive and just generally boring to listen to. I still don't know if I contribute that more to the beat or A Boogie, but either way it just did not do it for me.

Score: 5.5




Track 5 - Numbers

Producer: London On Da Track

Review:

Ever since this song leaked, I have not stopped listening to it. I have to admit I am surprised how well the song is doing numbers wise (believe me I tried not to let that pun happen), but it is well deserved. A Boogie and Roddy Ricch have such great chemistry that they are able to switch back and forth seamlessly and contribute to the song. I had slightly higher hopes for the Gunna verse, but he still does his thing. Once again, London on Da Track deserves loads of credit for giving them a phenomenal beat to work with.

Score: 10




Track 6 - Stain

Producer: Squat Beats, Go Grizzly, Pooh Beatz
Review:

Stain is another song that really tried to like, but just couldn't. I enjoy both A Boogie and DaBaby's music, but they are such different artists that it makes it extremely hard for a collaborative song to sound great. A Boogie just sounds like he is straining to hit the high notes throughout the hook and verse. In the end, it's still an enjoyable song, but it is not something I plan on revisiting often.

Score: 5.5





Track 7 - Hit 'Em Up
Producer: Band On The Beat, SephGotTheWaves

Review:

Finally, a song that I disliked at first but grew on me. Hit 'Em Up is a song that I have gone back and forth about, but generally enjoy listening too. A Boogie has the talent of switching back and forth between singing and rapping, and the song does a great job of showcasing that. Trap Manny holds his own on this track and adds to the track, which is important on albums that have quite a few features.

Score: 6.5




Track 8 - DTB 4 Life

Producer: Band On The Beat, SephGotTheWaves
Analysis:

As mentioned in A Boogie's song D.T.B. Interlude, DTB stands for Don't Trust Bitches. In this song, A Boogie mourns both the loss of his friends and the loss of his trust in his girl. Previously in Thug Love, A Boogie felt like he could trust this girl, but obviously he feels he can not trust anyone at this point in his career.

I'm DTB for life, no, I can't trust my bitches
I can't even trust my girl 'cause I'm a fucked up nigga, yeah
And if you say you trust me, girl, you lied
'Cause I can't even trust myself, I don't know why you waste time in your feelings, yeah

We will see later on the album how this ties in to the final song on the album, Streets Don't Love You.


Review:

With DTB 4 Life being named after Artist's D.T.B. Interlude. I had high hopes for this song. In my opinion, D.T.B. Interlude is one of A Boogie's strongest singing songs and showed his potential at the time. Unfortunately, this song was a massive letdown. Where D.T.B. Interlude was original and has a complete switch midway through the song, DTB 4 Life is repetitive and boring. By this point in the album, the guitar beats have started getting old. This one does not feature anything different than any of the other beats on the album. Sonically it sounds fine, but it's one of the biggest skips on the album.

Score: 4




Track 9 - Calm Down (Bittersweet)

Producer: London On The Track
Analysis:

At this point in the album, A Boogie has gone though about every stage of the break up, and is now blaming himself for it.

"I admit that I am not the best for you, no lie, feel fake as fuck"

Summer Walker plays the part of his ex in this song, and wants to get back together with him.

"Can we calm down and make love?
Get it poppin' in the back of your Bentley truck"


Review:

Calm Down (Bittersweet) is a solid middle-of-the-album track that interrupts a tough run of filler songs. Two things stood out to me on this song. First, A Boogie and Summer Walker fit together extremely well. This song is their second collaboration, with their first song Stretch You Out being on Summer Walker's most recent album Over It. Second, it was incredibly surprising to hear him reuse the hook from his leaked song Maserati in the second verse. Maserati is one of my favorite A Boogie leaks, and to hear it out of no where was a cool experience.

Score: 7

Track 10 - Another Day Gone
Producer: Khyrie Tyler, Larrance Dopson, Denis Kosiak

Review:

Like other A Boogie albums, the middle of the album contains just too many filler songs to make this album special. I have never been a fan of Khalid, and this song is just... so boring. There is not much more to say about it. I knew from the first listen that this song would likely never grow on me.

Score: 3.5




Track 11 - Good Girls Gone Bad

Producer: Jahaan Sweet, Band On The Beat

Review:

To end the rough stretch of songs, Good Girls Gone Bad is a solid shorter song that gets back to A Boogie's roots. The beat is more creative than the others and A Boogie switches up his flows throughout the song. It's nothing special, but it earns its spot on the album.

Score: 6




Track 12 - Blood On My Denim

Producer: Band On The Beat
Analysis:

Let's take a moment to keep it real. A Boogie has been simping HARD this entire album. Blood On My Denim is a return to A Boogie's back to his "hard on thots" beliefs.

"I thought every girl I had was the one, but she was not it
Ninety nine percent of bitches be thottin'
If I do the same thing, you'll say I'm not shit
I could do the same thing, you'll leave me cryin'"

This is the song A Boogie realizes his mistakes in the last few songs where he blames himself for his failed relationship, and instead looks at events with a new point of view. He now turns back to "the streets" for the true camaraderie he thinks he will have.

"I wonder if the streets still care about me"


Review:

Blood On My Denim is by far my favorite song on the album. This is the A Boogie that got me into his music in the first place. This is one of the few songs on the album that goes back to a piano melody instead of a guitar, which helps it distinguish itself from the others. A Boogie goes back and forth from rapping and singing, each having different flows. On this song A Boogie sounds enthusiastic and passionate, something I felt the majority of this album lacked.

Score: 10




Track 13 - R.O.D.

Producer: Boi-1da, S.dot, Band On The Beat, Young Kio

Review:

Blood On My Denim is followed up by another strong song. A Boogie's obvious Drake-inspirations fit in perfectly with Boi-1das production creating a great sounding song. R.O.D. again feels like a return to A Boogie's original sound. To wrap up the track up nicely, the song ends with a short guitar solo that sounds amazing and connects it to the sounds of the rest of the album.

Score: 8.5




Track 14 - Big Shit
Producer: Murda Beatz, Sool Got Hits
Review:

To be frank, Murda Beatz completely carries this song. A Boogie does his thing on the song, but Murda Beatz gave him a hard-hitting beat to work over. The song is nothing special, but it is an enjoyable song that I've come back to a few times.

Score: 7




Track 15 - Right Back

Producer: Hitmaka, Squat Beats, Billboard Hitmakers, Go Grizzly

Review:

Right Back is once again a song that did not need to be on this album at all. The beat is somewhat interesting due to its piano melodies, but the song as a whole adds nothing to the album.
Score: 5.5




Track 16 - Luv Is Art
Producer: Band On The Beat, SephGotTheWaves

Review:

After hearing Nonsense, Reply, and now Luv is Art, it is clear A Boogie and Lil Uzi have a genuine connection. Each song has felt shared rather than featured on, which is special for artists that have just begun collaborating. The guitar beat in the background is minimalistic for the most part, but works to benefit each of the artists. When it begins to get repetitive, it switches up and keeps the song interesting. This was not what I was expecting from an A Boogie and Uzi track, but nonetheless I was happy with the result.

Score: 8.5

(Quick break to address the fact that there has not been any analysis on the past stretch of songs. At this point the narrative has begun to get repetitive and many songs, specifically the singles, had no real substance at all. This is not just me being lazy.)


Track 17 - King Of My City
Producer: Boi-1da, S.dot, Band On The Beat

Review:

This song barely escapes being another mid song on the album. Boi-1da again delivers a solid beat for A Boogie to rap over, but A Boogie does not do too much with it. King Of My City is a good song to throw on without really thinking about it.

Score: 6




Track 18 - Mood Swings
Producer: Wheezy

Review:

There's truly nothing to talk about with this song. It's the definition of mid: Not good, not bad.

Score: 5




Track 19 - Reply
Producer - Go Grizzly, JoeFromYO

Review:

Reply was the first public collaboration between A Boogie and Lil Uzi, and does a solid job of delivering on the potential of the two artists working together. This song took a few plays to begin growing on me, but is now a song that I consider one of the strongest on the album. Between Reply and Luv is Art, I truly hope A Boogie and Uzi keep working on music together, and based on A Boogies recent interviews it sounds like they just might. (Side Note: How has Nonsense still not been released?)

Score: 8.5




Track 20 - Streets Don't Love You
Producer - Jahaan Sweet, Tash Phillips

Analysis:

Streets Don't Love You finally wraps up A Boogie's paranoia and loneliness into a single story told through the eyes of a kid in the streets. While these experiences are not specifically about A Boogie (spoiler: the kid in the story dies in the end), the parallel his life and his fears. Just like the kid gets killed due to his comfort in the street life, A Boogie has seen what happens when people get comfortable in the dangerous life they live in.

"He still sleepin' at his crib like fuck it if they find him"

What if his inner circle turns on him? What if his girl has been fake the entire time? What if his fame collapses on him? These are all questions A Boogie reflects on through the story he tells.


Review:

This is by far the most emotionally deep A Boogie has gotten on the entire album and it is fitting that it happens on the final track. This may also be A Boogie's best performance on the entire album. With the luminous beat in the background, A Boogie delivers a fantastic song-long verse that puts an exclamation on the album as a whole. To end the album, A Boogie hums in an autotune that would make Kanye proud. Where some songs on this album felt emotionless and almost robotic, this song ends by showing the most emotion I have heard from A Boogie in what feels like forever. Instead of leaving this album with a bad taste in my mouth, it left me wanting to hear A Boogie follow that song up with more.

Score: 9.5




Final Thoughts:

While I felt Artist 2.0 allowed A Boogie to make strides as an artist, it failed in the same areas that other A Boogie albums have failed in. For starters, there is simply too much filler in the middle of the album. For an album that is supposed to cement your spot as a top artist, there can not be that many forgettable songs in the middle of the album that for the most part sound the same. The album as a whole is saved by the strong run of intro and outro tracks. Songs like Numbers and Me and My Guitar are phenomenal tracks at the beginning of the album, but after that the album has a tough time getting itself back on track all the way until Blood in My Denim. Fortunately, from there the album is able to return back to A Boogie's roots and recapture some of the magic that made some of his first hits. It is also disappointing how little this album had in common with the original Artist. Where Artist was a short project that was to the point, Artist 2.0 was completely the opposite. For an album that was supposed to refine the sounds Artist began, it felt like he took a step back.

Final Score: 7





General Album Review Notes: Songs that do not have analysis are songs are so basic that none is needed. While making this review, I did not read/listen to any other reviews of the album to try and remain as unbiased as possible. My opinion is my opinion; Some will like the album, other will not. I score songs based on a number of factors, but generally based off of how much I enjoy them as well as the potential for the artist. A 10/10 does not mean it's the greatest song of all time, but rather that I thought it was a really good song that reaches the potential of the artists involved in creating it. Thank you for taking the time read the blog, I hope you enjoyed.
 
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Middleman Required
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Right on time!
Good review tho fr
 
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