Buddy Starts 2019 By Showing Why He Was 1 Of 2018’s Best
Buddy’s Harlan and Alondra was named one of Ambrosia For Heads‘ favorite albums of 2018. The Compton rapper and singer showed off his appreciation for Funk and Soul on his debut full-length project, which paired him with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Khalid. Though rooted distinctly in Rap music, the album was more musical than it was lyrical, which makes Buddy’s style easily translatable for on-stage live performances.
A marker of the critical acclaim he continues to garner, Buddy recently appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, where he showed off his dynamism. There, the preacher’s son performed renditions of four Harlan & Alondra cuts: “Legend,” “Trouble On Central,” “Hey Up There” and “Real Life Sh*t.” In what NPR’s Rodney Carmichael calls “one of the most dramatic Tiny Desks in recent memory,” Buddy kicks off his show as musical director, instructing the audience member to contribute their voices to “Legend.”
The song is an interesting choice for Tiny Desk, considering the album version of “Legend” is only a 46-second interlude. But that aforementioned musicality of Harlan & Alondra makes it work, and it’s extended into nearly twice its original length, thanks to the talent of Buddy’s backing band, “The Big Homies.”
After that, it’s off to one of the album’s groovier stand-outs, “Trouble On Central,” which includes an indirect salute to another West Coast song about yearning for more, Skee-Lo’s “I Wish.” Here, Buddy gets to show off his vocal abilities (and his South Central dance moves).
It’s hard for Buddy to hold back his relaxed, Los Angeles sensibilities while performing “Hey Up There,” the original version for which features Ty Dolla $ign. As Carmichael reports, “[S]ometimes being a nonconformist works both ways. So when Buddy proceeded to fire up a blunt midway through his set, we had to stop the show and ask him to put it out before re-recording his song.”
Buddy and The Big Homies close out Tiny Desk with the album’s opening track, “Real Life Sh*t.”
Buddy will continue to have an impressive 2019. Yesterday (January 8), he announced via Twitter that he’d been invited to participate in the recording sessions for Dreamville’s forthcoming compilation, Revenge of the Dreamers III.