Rap artist BA Badd is described as a “Syracuse stress boss” in his press kit and certainly has the sound of one. It’s as though you took any member of The Lox and instead of putting them 30-40 minutes away from NYC in Yonkers, you put them 3-4 hours away upstate. “I’m from a city, where they drilling like a step team” quips BA Badd on “Dejulios” to explain just how rugged life in ‘Cuse really is. To help him emphasize the grim outlook that life in New York’s fifth most populous city holds, he enlisted the help of vowel heavy producer Reallyhiiim to release an EP called “Really Him.”
Even though he’s undoubtedly as much of a boss as his kit professes, he sounds equaled by “Harlem heavyweight” G4jag on “W.T.S.” (short for “With That SuckaShit”). I had never heard G4 before this release, but to strike another New York comparison, he sounds like what would’ve happened to Sticky Fingaz if he had never been a member of Onyx and was solo from day one. Forget the comparisons for a moment though. There’s something “heavy” about BA whether or not he tag teams with G4, and it’s the production from Reallyhiiim. Songs like “Zimmerman” have a backdrop straight out of a horror movie. It’s not bop your head music, it’s feel the dread music. It’s uncomfortably appropriate to name the song after Trayvon Martin’s killer. Songs like “Plate Scrapers” make you feel the tension in every heavy beat and discordant note.
If I was filming a documentary about how fucked up Syracuse was (honestly I have no idea either way if it’s as Badd as BA makes it sound) these are the brothers I would hire to score the soundtrack. It feels to me like BA and Really had the same idea though as they’ve released some “behind the scenes” vlogs leading up to the May 29th release of the EP.
It’s not easy to quantify how I feel about “Really Him” let alone rate it for a reader wanting to know if they should buy it. If you take the view that music like life is meant to be an experience, and that within that experience there is a broad range of emotions both good and bad, it’s certainly a powerful experience. This is not a happy album made by happy people — or at the very least that’s what they intend to portray in the persona of the artist and producer featured here. Honestly they could be jovial as fuck but you wouldn’t know it from the public face they put on through this music. It makes this effort stand out from rappers who are happy because they make a lot of money, sleep with fly women, teach knowledge to the youth or spit the best punchlines. Any of those things could make you smile in life but there “Ain’t No Sunshine” to “Really Him.” If you’re in a mood to hear a mood where it’s not all good then these brothers are your hook up.