Only two months after releasing Ocean & Montana, Buddy has returned with another EP release ‘Magnolia.’ The May release was a joint EP with Montreal producer Kaytranada. In an interview with Revolt TV, Buddy compared his debut EP to a “big rollercoaster” due to it being all over the place sonically. Unlike the previous effort, the new 5-track EP is more cohesive and contains a West Coast sound.
The EP is produced entirely by Mike & Keys, who’ve worked with fellow West Coast rappers, Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hussle. This isn’t their first time collaborating with Buddy however as the duo co-produced his underground hit ‘Shine.’ ‘Magnolia’ starts with a bang as Compton natives Buddy and Boogie hop on the opening track ‘4 The Record’ together. The heavy production alone makes it the hardest song on the EP. “Headed up, we can only get higher / And your girl give me head, like a visor,” A boastful Buddy raps. Meanwhile, Boogie namechecks Serena Williams, as he pays respect to her for making it out of Compton successfully.
On the following track, ‘Who Shot 2 Tall,’ Buddy proves that he has versatility as a lyricist. The drum driven track sees Buddy transition to storytelling rap. The 23-year-old rapper rewinds to his high school years when he's exposed to police brutality and street violence. Buddy even incorporates audio from a local news station as it’s being reported that three young men were shot. "How many ni**as' gon' die before the summer's up? / How many real ones alive," Buddy asks rhetorically.
Between the assistance from Wiz Khalifa and its club appeal, it’s apparent why the next track, ‘Type Of Shit’ serves as the latest single from the EP. In addition to its club appeal, the lyrical content finds Buddy rapping about a club encounter. “I got the baby face, so at the bar, I still getting carded / All of this s**t I'mma do tonight probably forget in the morning,” he raps. Buddy also gushes about his infatuation for marijuana. Wiz clearly is a fitted addition to the track as he’s infamous for his use of the drug. “I just brought a bag of God's greatest green grass to share with everyone that I knowin'/Obviously we been smokin'/Eyes barely open from the weed/Used to smoke 'em with them champs,” he raps.
The Kent James-aided track ‘Last Time’ finds Magnolia changeover to an atmospheric production. Buddy is met with nostalgia when he encounters a girl who he hasn’t seen in a while. James, who handles the chorus sings from the perspective of Buddy about previous engagements he and this girl had. “Last time I saw you, you was workin' out at the Slauson 24/Last time I saw you, you was tellin' me that you still searchin' for more,” he sings. Kent does a poor man’s impression of Chance The Rapper, which listeners will easily perceive.
The final track, ‘That Much’ led Magnolia as the debut single on the EP. Buddy takes a break from his boastful tracks with an anti-brag track. Though the Compton native is signed to Pharrell’s i am Other Records, the track finds Buddy admitting that he isn’t that wealthy. The misconception has people clinging desperately to his ascent. “Ni**as actin' like they know sumtin'/Ni**as askin' can they hold sumtin'/Ni**as actin' like I owe sumtin'/Ni**as always want sumtin',” he raps.
Buddy’s come up is overdue. From Magnolia alone, Buddy has shown his versatility as a rapper. The West Coast rapper could do political rap and switch over to a club banger with ease. Although he’s been in the music industry since 2011, Buddy remains an artist to watch.
Overall Rating: ★★★½ / 5