Buddy Is A Potent Example Of Why West Coast Hip-Hop Is Still So Great (Video)
The Greater Los Angeles Rap scene is evolving nicely in the 2010s. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Ty Dolla $ign, Cozz, Jay Rock, Problem, YG, Jay Worthy, and others have taken the music new places while holding legacy and tradition with care. Out of all those names, Buddy may be the most versatile new voice. The 24-year-old Compton, California native is classically trained in song, dance, and stage performance. This likely played a hand in O.G.’s like DJ Quik and Suga Free getting down five years ago, as well as Pharrell Williams signing him to his I Am Other imprint years ago.
While this CPT native has released a couple of EPs (including last year’s exceptional Ocean & Montana with producer KAYTRANADA), a few singles, and a well-received mixtape, it wasn’t until this weekend that he dropped his official debut studio album, Harlan & Arlondra, on RCA Records. Buddy released the video for his third single off the LP “Trouble On Central” with the full-length offering. This smooth jam and its melodic stylings may remind Heads of Long Beach City crooners like Nate Dogg and Domino. Meanwhile, the hook in which every line starts with “I wish” definitely recalls local Skee-Lo’s ’90s hit. The lyrics express that yearning most of us have for the better things in life. The way the synth, groovy bass, and sharp snares come together is distinctly West Coast. However, the lyrics also address the dangers specific to South Central L.A. and surrounding areas, plus police profiling. Buddy balances his groove with “real life sh*t” (the title of another H&A highlight).
The visuals here deal with the story Buddy is telling in the song, which revolves around his Chevrolet breaking down on the notorious Central Avenue. The majority of the footage features him cruising the streets of L.A., but that is cut short with his car over-heating, him catching the bus, and him being pulled over by the cops…but they are all different versions of him doing these things simultaneously. It’s a cool concept and well-executed.
“Trouble On Central” is also a focal point of the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist:
Harlan & Alondra features appearances by Snoop Dogg, Ty Dolla, A$AP Ferg, and Khalid.