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Review: ‘International Artist’ Is A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s Bid for Crossover Success

The Bronx rapper’s latest is a shameless if charming bid for crossover success.

a boogie wit da hoodie

Sarah Kelleren




Perhaps it’s a sign of how much hip-hop has evolved that artists from the Bronx, home to decades of rhyme pioneers ranging from Grandmaster Caz to KRS-One and Fat Joe, are no longer expected to mean-mug and spit traditional bars. Take A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, who easily fits into the current zeitgeist of rappers who sing more often than they speak. He’s a product of the times, but he has a talent for appealing melodies and memorable flows that’s more creatively compelling than his peers. That skill carries him through International Artist, a shameless if charming bid for crossover success. Afrobeats singer Davido’s robust boasts accompany Boogie’s airy vocals on the club-ready bounce “Way Too Fly,” and he trades bars with the wildly underrated Latino rapper Kap G on highlight “MIA.” Even Tory Lanez, whose low-common-denominator hits often evoke the worst of the current singing-rapper wave, comes off nicely over the tropical synths of “Best Friend.”

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