I slept on the debut from Compton rapper “Buddy,” which came out in 2018. Shame on me. Because his 2022 release, just his second, is right up my alley.

Buddy is a rap/singer who writes hood stories with that kind of ’90s boom/bap soul that served as the backdrop for Boyz N Da Hood. This is one of my favorite genres.

And Buddy’s good at it.

Why did it take him 4 years to issue a second album? I dunno. And some are complaining that it’s too short. But brevity is a good thing. I’m so sick of overstuffed albums where about a third of them are boring (or worse, pure shit).

Buddy also uses features sparingly. Ari Lennox, Tinashe, T-Pain and Blxst are the only guests–so this album is truly his vision and voice.

Speaking of which, on Bad News (with its refrain, “I heard they coming for me/But I ain’t do it/There ain’t no way they can prove it”), Buddy gives us a pure pop song. The lyrics are full-on gangsta, but the music, the delivery and the bounce are all sunny pop. Brilliant.

Buddy’s got wit, charm, and talent, and he consciously lifts from all the greatest California rappers. This is a terrific album.

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