Boaz's New Mixtape – The Transition
Like I said in a previous post regarding the 58’s debut mixtape, Pittsburgh hip-hop currently has a target on its back. And while there has never been a more opportune time for steel city MC’s and producers to gain exposure, Pittsburgh’s relatively undisturbed nexus of rap talent is now vulnerable to the perils of nationalÂ attention (re: scrutiny). But, if there is an MC with enough confidence, talent and experience to shoulder the heavy expectations of the city’s hip-hop in the wake of Wiz and Mac, it’s Boaz. The Pittsburgh scene veteran is back with TheÂ Transition: a robust, determined follow up to 2010’s Selling a Dream that showcases the MC at the height of his powers, even when the mixtape’s production, in some instances, fails to keep up. Tracks and more after the jump.
Heavy hitters Pete Rock, S. Money and, of course, Mac Miller all make guest appearances along with producers J. Fish, !llmind, Skywalka, and the Suppliers who, with a handful of others, provide a mixed bag of beats. But even amidst the crowded roster and spotty production, Boaz’s larger-than-life presence as the game-weary hustler remains intact. His flow is husky and diamond hard (striking a vastly different note from the youthful “fuck it, let’s party” vibe Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller made their names on) and shares a similar cadence and delivery with Ghostface Killah’s harsh, street prophet poetics.
“Do it For Ya,” produced by !llmind, isÂ The Transition’sÂ best of show. The beat punctuates each revolution of lurching digital horns with a walloping splash, allowing Boaz to concisely stich together snapshots of street life. He doesn’t linger on the lavish trappings that come with being high in the rap/drug game, but instead focuses on the stolen, day-to-day details of a dealer on the street, providing a compelling, short hand narrative for a life many listeners can only guess at: “The block is all out, I’m gonna go re-up for more/give me fifteen minutes, stan, meet me by the store (where you at?)/you know the one with graffiti on the door? (huh?)/and the statue of Nefertiti on the floor?”
Whether or not The Transition positions Boaz as Pittsburgh hip-hop’s next great hope remains to be seen, but it’s apparent he isn’t squandering the opportunity. Boaz is a force to be reckoned with, armed with arguably the best flow in the city and the hunger to match.
The Transition download link
Boaz – “Do It For Ya” (prod. by !llmind)