If you know Blueface you probably know him from the song “Thotiana” and more specifically the remix featuring Cardi B. The original was a hit, but not to the viral degree the second version achieved. As of this writing the video has already been seen over 150,000,000 times.
Beyond that I hadn’t given Blueface much thought before the release of “Dirt Bag“. When I found out he was signed to the West coast branch of Cash Money Records, I was actually more surprised that CMR had a West coast branch than that Blueface had a label deal. Born Johnathan Michael Porter back when I was still in college (’97), the tall (6’4″) and talented Porter was almost a star quarterback. He led his high school team to an East Valley League championship, but a stint at Fayetteville State University fizzled in 2016 and a rap career soon followed. His latest hit “Bussdown” feels like Blue revisiting his high school days now that he has cash money in his pocket. He even raps “I just made six like a touchdown” in the chorus.
Writing this review took longer than listening to this album. No joke. “Dirt Bag” is just barely 21 minutes long. It’s hard to get away with calling anything that short an album unless you’re a buzzing artist, but thanks to tracks like “Daddy” featuring Rich The Kid, he’s got a swarm of buzz extending all the way from California across the entire United States. It’s funny to me that Blueface’s rap style often gets compared to E-40, because listening to RTK on this track I’d immediately compare him to Too $hort.
And as far as West coast endorsements go, you couldn’t get much better than Jayceon Taylor appearing on a track. “Stop Cappin” actually plays out like a miniature movie, and once again he literally answers me with the line “shoot a movie in this b%$ch with extended clips” in the lyrics. For the version with The Game though you’ll have to cop the album.
The late Nipsey Hussle seems like a more apt point of comparison to me than Earl Stevens. While I get that people like comparing the creativity of Blue’s flow to E, stylistically I see more of Nipsey in him, not the least of which is his unapologetic references to his gang affiliation (hell it’s even in his name) in his lyrics. The other similarity that arises from that is that both seem to strive to rise up from it and become a success in the music industry, which Hussle certainly was before a hailstorm of bullets struck him down. I hope I’m not being prophetic because I’m really tired of seeing rappers in caskets after 35 years of following hip-hop music and culture. With the energy and charisma that Blueface shows on the short but enjoyable “Dirt Bag“, I’d like to see him keep rising up and succeeding in the rap game, hopefully taking a few lessons from The Game along the way.