The Price of Tea In China by Boldy James & The Alchemist. Review by Craig MacDonald a.k.a Debating Hip-Hop
Boldy James is a street rapper out of Detroit, Michigan whose been slept on since the start of the 2010s. Over the past decade Boldy has dropped 11 projects which includes a mixture of albums, mixtapes and EP’s. On Mar. 1st, 2020 Boldy was signed to Griselda Records, an affiliate of Shady Records. He joins Westside Gunn, Conway & Benny The Butcher an already dominant rap group.
On Feb. 7th, 2020 Boldy James released his second studio album The Price Of Tea In China fully produced by The Alchemist. The album is stacked with big-name features including Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs, Benny The Butcher and Evidence. Boldy embodies the underground sound as he showcases his lyricism over Alchemist’s boom-bap instrumentals.
“Carruth”, opens up the album with a soulful sample with no drums as Boldy talks about his background and hardship. He says “My friends came and went, but most of them was murder victims. Dead before 20 or caught a frame and had to serve a sentence”. The second song “Giant Slide” ,kicks in with a tough beat with a continuous whistle in the background of the instrumental. Coke raps, storytelling and gloating, this is the epitome of street rap. “Surf & Turf”, starts off with Boldy flowing in an impressive rhyme scheme over choir-like vocals and slow paced drums. Towards the end of the song we get our first featured artist on the album; Vince Staples, we haven’t heard him over beats like this in a while but he certainly took the challenge and barred out. “Run-Ins”, samples a news broadcast of the police responding to a shooting at a gas station and chasing suspects setting the theme for the song. Boldy raps about his run-ins with the police over yet again, another godly Alchemist instrumental. The end of this song features a skit, that sounds like Boldy and a friend taking a dead body out of their trunk and throwing it into the water. The skit transitions into “Scrape The Bowl”, and I’m immediately shaking my head with a stank face because of how hard this beat is. Benny The Butcher and Boldy go back and forth trading bars, making this one of the best songs on the album and of the year in general. “Pinto”, cuts into a softer beat as Boldy reflects on his past. We are now halfway through the album and Boldy has fully proven how good of a lyricist he is even up against tough competition.
The seventh song on the album “Slow Roll” features a bass heavy beat with Boldy flowing like usual. The end of the song features a skit of two individuals smoking weed and cocking back guns as the song switches into “S.N.O.R.T”. The moment the beat drops you know what’s going on, this shit goes way too hard. Boldy kills it and leaves it for Freddie Gibbs to make sure it’s dead. Easily one of the best songs on the album and one of my favourites of the year so far. The next song “Grey October” is a slower song with nice guitar strings being complimented by a soulful synth. It features Evidence who carries on the vibe of this chilling song. The tenth song “Mustard”, a short song with a dark gritty beat matched with Boldy’s dark and gritty delivery. “Speed Demon Freestyle” features a jazz sample and a simple drum beat as Boldy does his thing. “Phone Bill” has one of the most impressive beats on the album with a mixture of guitar strings, female vocals, drums and more. Very easy listening for the ears, as Boldy blends in with the instrumental.
I know it’s still early in the year but this album fully played through is one of the best albums of 2020 to come out so far. The mixture between Boldy and Alchemist was made in heaven. They both compliment each other so well the chemistry on this album is incredible. His lyricism and storytelling presented throughout The Price Of Tea In China is nothing but top tier excellence. Proceeding this album Boldy was signed to Griselda, I’m very much looking forward to what’s in store for us with this new member. I think he’s a perfect fit for Griselda, they share a lot of the same characteristics.
Carruth – 9/10
Giant Slide – 8/10
Surf & Turf -10/10
Scrape The Bowl – 10/10
Pinto – 8/10
Slow Roll – 9/10
S.N.O.R.T – 10/10
Grey October – 9/10
Mustard – 8/10
Speed Demon Freestyle – 8/10
Phone Bill – 10/10
Overall – 9/10
Craig MacDonald a.k.a Debating Hip-Hop
March 10th, 2020