Boldy James & Vince Staples Get Personal On An Alchemist Beat (Video)
Around the time that Boldy James was among the first rappers to sign to the rebranded Mass Appeal Records (formerly Decon) alongside Bishop Nehru and Fashawn, the Detroit, Michigan MC released his first studio album, My 1st Chemistry Set. James’ 2013 LP was entirely produced by The Alchemist, and released via his new imprint. Now, seven years since their first full-fledged collaboration, Boldy and The Al’ have reunited for The Price Of Tea In China.
James Jones, III’s latest record is a well-crafted extension and exposition of the fine-tuned and seamless compatibility he and Alchemist displayed on their first go-round. Boldly eloquently tethers tales of life in the streets of Detroit to Alchemist’s often sinister production. Boldy’s featured guests on the album are similarly as bleak and burdened on wax. Tracks including the Benny The Butcher assisted “Scrape The Bowl,” and “S.N.O.R.T.” with Freddie Gibbs, further recount both the excitement and the danger elicited from their immediate surroundings with complimentary style and attitude. Next to Long Beach, California’s own Vince Staples. “Surf & Turf,” is yet another single from Boldy that boasts comparable narratives that boldly recall the grit and grime of life in the hood. Now, Vince and James join forces once again for their joint venture’s music video treatment.
Directed by Lonewolf, darkened visuals open with Boldy rapping raw in an abandoned warehouse with Alchemist’s dusted, slithering instrumental en tow. James rhymes about the ups and downs of growing up in the Motor City with a smooth, laissez-faire attitude, “Slums of Detroit, drugs from the port / Plugged with the source / Gun in my shorts / Blood was the sport / Jumped from the porch / Hung like a horse / Ones with the Force / Drunk in a Porsche / Trunk full of corpse / Dump with the torch / Run for the Ford / Love for my daughter / Son was the fourth, youngin’ on the run with a warrant / Motherf**k a judge and the courts / Club full of dorks / Got it out the mud in my ‘ports / Had to let the love run its course / Cousin up North / Plugged in New York / Plugged on the Coast / Doves and them storks, tub full of dope / Road trips to Ypsi’, what’s good with the coke? / Real ni**as like Nipsey give a hood nI**a hope.”
Later in the frame,Staples recounts with guttural inflection, “Came with the Crips / Came with the ‘scrip / Churn up the bricks / Can’t never slip, thang on the hip / Burst from the whip / Drive-by shooter / Autopilot when I bye-bye losers / Look mama, no hands, look mama, mo’ bands / Big house, mo’ land / Lil’ Vince a grown man, came with his own plan / No friends wanna pop me, homie you can’t stop me / Thuggin’ with the Wop, burning up Del Amo swap-meet / You know who the opps was, ain’t nobody shot me / But I shot, mm, hmm, hmm, maybe ’bout three / Wasn’t doin’ too much, I done made a few bucks / I can get you Ku Kluxed, underneath the white sheet.”
In 2019, Boldy James and The Alchemist also released their collective EP, Boldface, with a feature from longtime collaborators, The Cool Kids. That same year, Alchemist released another collab effort with New Yorker Action Bronson and their project, Lamb Over Rice
Heads can find Boldy James & Alchemist’s “Surf & Turf” on the Official Ambrosia For Heads playlist.