ALBUM REVIEW: Bogota Rich (The Prequel)


For better or worse Bogota Rich (The Prequel) follows the same format as virtually every Gunplay mixtape ever released an aggregate of premeditated freestyles, rehashed collaborations, exclusive original solo efforts, and excessive banshee wails from an annoying host DJ. While it's not the quintessential Gunplay project many hoped for, it's easily the strongest collection of music he's mustered thus far, thereby serving as a respectable introduction to hip-hop's most interesting bench warmer.

Bogota Rich features Don Logan at his most maniacal, and as a respected colleague once suggested, MMG artists should be vying for Oscar nominations opposed to Grammy awards. 'Tats On My Arm', a truly convincing display of suicidal self-loathing, is the most dramatic entry. While "swaztika on my tat/smoking tropical crack" is certainly on the short list of most ignorant couplets ever written, there's a cartoonish element to Gunplay's approach that carries over regardless how serious the subject matter.

Perhaps more impressive than Gunplay's ability to sound nearly as demented as he looks, is the subtle multi-syllable rhyme schemes layered in his verses. On 'Jump Out' he effortlessly merges "G-U-N-P-L-A-Y" with "human LA riot" without compromising an iota of energy. This Fizzy Wo-esque balance of poetic acumen, humorous threats, and heart pounding delivery is sustained throughout the entire tape's duration. However, Bogota Rich feels like a missed opportunity. The critical acclaim garnered by Gunplay's stellar contribution to Kendrick Lamar's 'Cartoon and Cereal' exposed him to an audience diametrically opposed to the Maybach aesthetic, but there's nothing on this project that exhibits that level of depth. This is unfortunate, because that performance wasn't an anomaly akin to School Boy Q's 'Brand New Guy' massacre. Gunplay's introspective voice can be found littered about his shallow mixtape discography ('All On You', 'Straight Up Menace', etc), so it's disappointing he didn't further cultivate that particular facet of his repertoire.

What's promising about Bogota Rich is Rick Ross' notable absence. Especially considering the mundane records Wale and Meek Mill have released under Rozay's tutelage. It proves either Gunplay is coming into his own as an artist or trapped in Maybach purgatory. Regardless, he's better off being left to his own cocaine-induced devices. Despite being fiercely entertaining, it would be disingenuous to place Bogota Rich among the ranks of serious album of the year contenders like Rich Forever, Vodka and Ayahuasca, and 4evaNaDay, but it bodes well for the official forthcoming midquel.

6 comments:

  1. This is a really excellent review. I've just written one for a website and I don't think its anywhere near as good as yours.

    The mixtape is great. I didn't think it was at first because DJ Holiday was screaming all over it. ''Fuck Shit In My Life'' is truly brilliant, just a shame that Gunplay doesn't do all three verses on it.

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