A Few Dope Tracks: Boldy James

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Around my freshman year in college, I was introduced to the unorthodox sound and eclectic swagger of The Cool Kids. Before it was trendy, they were rocking snapbacks, skinny jeans and vintage apparel. And their sound was reminiscent of a time when the crack epidemic was prevalent in America, people used pagers as a means of communication, and gold rope chains symbolized prosperity.

It was through the duo (comprised of Chuck Inglish and Sir Michael Rocks) that I was introduced to Boldy James, who is Chuck Inglish’s older cousin. He made his official entrance into the music industry around 2011 via his 28-track effort Trapper’s Alley (Pros & Cons)He’s delivered a palmful of projects since then — each effort littered with lyrics about the highs and lows of hustling.

I have an appreciation for what Boldy brings to the game. His voice is monotone, but his rhymes are cleverly positioned and incredibly vivid. During a conversation we had in 2013, shortly before the release of his Alchemist-produced debut My First Chemistry Set, Boldy touched on how penning rhymes provides him with the serenity he needs to overcome unpleasant circumstances. 

No matter what I’ve been going through, it’s like the music has always been a stress reliever. In jail, when I didn’t have drugs, I didn’t have cigarettes, no weed to smoke, or couldn’t run to no Moët bottles, I always had something to write with and a piece of paper, so I could get my scribe on. No matter how much I’m going through it or how hard it is at the time or no matter what the situation is, the music has always been my backbone. It’s always been something I could lean on.”

A hobby Boldy did for years to get his mind off unfortunate circumstances helped change his life in 2014. He became the first artist Nas signed to his Mass Appeal imprint.  

It has been a minute since Boldy dropped a full body of work. Nevertheless, I still find myself vibing to his past cuts, and I look forward to what he has in store for the future.

Check out some of my favorite tracks from Boldy below. 

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