Prior to the release of Boogie’s Shady Records debut album, it was unclear how the label’s backing would assist him. After all, Shady Records is not exactly known for promoting its newly signed artists or giving them creative freedom; just look at the label debuts from Conway and Yelawolf. It’s clear that Yelawolf had little creative control over his own project, and Conway’s mixtape, while good, received virtually no promotion and generated no buzz. However, this was not the case for Boogie.
Right out of the gate, it was clear that the album came out exactly how Boogie imagined. “Tired/Reflection,” the opening track of Everythings for Sale, is highlighted by lush, soulful productions littered with vocal samples. On the song, Boogie questions his critics and, in turn, himself. He ponders their critique and if it’s even worth trying to change himself as he continues to make mistakes. As he reflects, a gunshot rings out and the beat becomes more intense. On the chorus, Boogie raps, “(C)ome and save me, I feel threatened / Think I ran into a dead end, uh / Ain’t no point in using weapons, no / I’m at war with my reflection, uh,” fully explaining his predicament that will carry across the entire album.
Boogie is at his best as he reflects on his relationships, his shortcomings in them and his attempts to get better. “Swap Meet” is an appreciation of Boogie’s girlfriend, stating that he is willing to bargain everything he has, no matter how little he brings to the table, in exchange for her love. Album highlight “Skydive” finds the Compton rapper pleading with his partner to be sure of their relationship before they both find themselves jumping into it too quickly. Even the more uptempo songs on the album, like “Soho” featuring JID and “Rainy Days” featuring Eminem, are mostly contemplative. “Soho” outlines Boogie’s discontent for the lifestyle that others expect from him. He wants to live his own life without having to deal with the industry expects from him. These songs, as great as they are, stick out like a sore thumb in an album reliant on somber, introspective tracks.
The main problem with this album is its pacing. It jumps from slow, laidback cuts to high tempo songs, even though each track delves into similar themes. It is a little jarring to listen to “Rainy Days” and then, two songs later, hear the heartbreaking, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah-assisted “Whose Fault.” The lack of sonic cohesion between songs hurts the album a little, but by no means does it ruin it.
On Everythings for Sale, Boogie manages to find his sound and his place in the rap scene. Given that he has a great ear for beats, all he needs to do is fine-tune the synergy between his sound and his subject matter. With this in mind, it is clear that Boogie has an incredible album within him, but it is a matter of him taking his time and realizing exactly what it is that he wants to accomplish.