When A Boogie With Da Hoodie announced that he was set to release his third studio album, his fans were jubilant. It had been just over a year since we last heard from the Bronx native and in the age of microwaveable music, there was a yearning to hear what new melodies the “Just Like Me” rapper had cooked up. While leaked records delayed the album towards its Valentine’s Day release, they also built anticipation for what was to come.
At face value, Artist 2.0 – the sequel to his 2016 breakout mixtape, Artist – gave his fans exactly what they asked for. The man known for his melodic chants and passionate crooning about his love life reverted back to what he knows best and then some. Although recognized as a rapper, that takes a backseat in this latest effort. A boogie never goes more than a few bars in any of the records before his singing takes precedence, exemplified in the emotional ballad “Good Girls Gone Bad,” where he wails about a woman who’s changed as a result of his inconsistencies.
What it lacks for in actual rapping, the album more than makes up for in its infectious choruses. “Right Back,” “Mood Swings,” “Me and My Guitar,” and “DTB 4 Life” are all records that have the propensity to become a mainstay in any playlist. While he doesn’t rap as much as some might have wanted on the album, his guest-features all brought their “A” game. Verses from Dababy, Young Thug, Gunna and Roddy Rich do a good job of balancing out the croon-heavy album, with A Boogie and Roddy Rich’s chemistry being one of the project’s highlights.
Coming into the rap game, A Boogie presented himself as a rapper who would occasionally try his hand at singing. On Artist 2.0, he doubles down on the latter, pushing his own personal boundaries and blurring the lines on what his official title should really be. While the album is enjoyable, it doesn’t always feel like it’s A Boogie at his best and it seems like, to A Boogie, “artist” means less rapping, which inherently is not the case.