All it took was a Drake (Aubrey Graham) cosign and feature to introduce us to BlocBoy JB. He released his 7th project, SIMI, last week and there’s plenty of room for improvement. The 21-year-old Memphis MC has been rapping since the age of 14 and introduced the world to the “shoot dance”. His work derives from the Trap Music genre which isn’t known to have much lyrical content but has catchy choruses and a great beat.
SIMI was released on May 4th of this year under Bloc Nation. Still an independent artist however there were rumors he’d sign to Drake’s OVO label. With “Look Alive” peaking at #5 on the Billboard Charts, it’s safe to say BlocBoy has America’s attention. He’s already collaborated with artists such as, ASAP Rocky, 21 Savage, Lil Pump, and you can also hear his ad libs in Childish Gambino’s “This is America”. However, the quality of this mixtape could honestly be the peak of Blocboy’s career.
With the help of longtime producer/friend, Tay Keith and a stamp of approval from Drake, we get “Look Alive”. This track is the lead single off SIMI and it did numbers, but it’s no secret why. Aubrey Graham has been on an insuppressible run in music for nearly a decade (Thank Me Later was released in 2010) with no signs of slowing down. The likable chorus and rap verse really made this a Drake song and JB’s performance seemed like the feature. Fantastic charity work from Drizzy, but that may have over shadowed everything about Blocboy JB. His verse was catchy yet lacked substance, didn’t make a lot of sense either. JB also raps the same way in every other song on SIMI, a distinct pattern with words that rhyme together mixed with a bit of mumble rap. There’s plenty of mumble rap SoundCloud rappers to go around at this point in Rap.
An updated version to February’s release, “Rover”, Blocboy JB linked up with 21 Savage for “Rover 2.0”. This will be the second single for this project, so far reaching #49 on the Hip Hop/R&B charts. Smart move to add another popular MC to a SoundCloud hit as a second single. With the need for features on singles, it’ll expose the lack of talent to make a major hit. Sounds like “Look Alive”, looping piano, kicks and a hi hat with a catchy chorus and rap verses for filler. With watching the visual for this single, even 21 Savage looks unimpressed.
Overall, this project lacks depth and everything sounds the same. With rappers such as Young Buck (he had a great 2 album run during the G-Unit wave), Three-6 Mafia, and the duo 8ball & MJG coming from Tennessee, there’s higher expectations on Blocboy JB’s future. Those artists made songs, SIMI is simply a development of Bloc rapping over the same type of sound for 49 minutes. A couple of songs can go on a workout playlist, nevertheless this album seemed rushed due to the hype of a Drake Cosign.
The full track listing is as follows…
1. “Turnt Up”
2. “Look Alive” featuring Drake
3. “Nun of Dat” featuring Lil Pump
4. “Good Day”
5. “Left Hand”
6. “Asian Bitch” featuring Moneybagg Yo
7. “Rover 2.0” featuring 21 Savage
10. “Nike Swoosh” featuring YG
13. “No Velcro”
14. “Left Right”
15. “No Chorus Pt. 11”
16. “Straight Drop”