Hearing Aide: BG the Boy Genius, ‘The PreVisual’

BG the Boy Genius, a hip hop artist based in Albany, launched The PreVisual, a mixtape, on March 30 through Genius Minds. The project consists mostly of his poetic verses matched with already established instrumentals within the hip hop and pop industries. As a prelude to an upcoming album, PreVisual serves as a brightly lit roadside attraction in the path to future works. It’s also simply a strong sample of BG’s writing and vocal abilities.

The mixtape opens up with “PreVisual In Ya Ear,” in which a series of news program introduces the listener to a slew of current issues. Boy Genius rhymes over a soulful, old school beat just to establish a timeline. “You look confused. Have you read the news?,” he asks. This provides an excellent rhetoric for the rest of the album which discusses a lot of modern issues and social situations, such as presidency, politics, trends, financials and interpersonal relationships. “I’m just honest…when I’m making comments,” he says. Honesty is another concept which comes up in the emotional “Let You Down” (originally recorded by NF, David Garcia, and Tommee Profitt).

PreVisual covers a lot of modern musical ground, one track that jumps out of the fray is “Morning in America,” whose cadence mirrors a song of the same title by pop artist Jon Bellion. “We’re out of control, and everyone knows,” BG sings around a song about having children in a chaotic place, while trying to grow up himself at the same time. His lyrics fit the tune of the song better than the original artist, and “Morning” is not the only spot where this is the case.

Another notable song is “Bank Account,” a perpetually annoying, yet strangely catchy number by 21 Savage. “I got 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, none, zero fucks to give,” BG raps, eloquently (possibly accidentally) stating how many people feel about the original track. Regardless, this and all other songs on the tape communicate a clear command of language and poetry.

Overall, PreVisual is a win for BG the Boy Genius as he displays mastery over his field, but does not need to say much for his abilities — they speak for themselves. Part of this is the teamwork that went into the project. Along with his own versions of already popular songs, BG credits both Phoenix, the producer, with production and engineering; as well as Travis Manney who performs on the seventh track, “Trav’s Interlude.” Other producers included Fat Cat and Blanco. If PreVisual is just a prelude to other upcoming projects, BG has set the bar high for his future, and he even leaves the listener with an idea of what to do if he doesn’t meet this bar. “If this album trash, all my fans, you can leave me,” he commands. PreVisual gives a lot, but leaves enough to the imagination for what listeners can expect in the future.

The PreVisual can be streamed through SoundCloud.

Key tracks: “Let You Down,” “Morning In America,” “Bank Account.”

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