After dropping his The Mockingbird LP, rising rapper Buu E. Radley returns with his new project 40 Below. The 16-track project showcases the rapper’s expressive flow and bravado raps over hard-hitting trap beats and a touch of boom-bap and Detroit music elements.

The opening track “Lance” is introduced by an anthemic medieval string sample layered over punchy trap drums. Here, Buu embodies the fighting spirit of Lance The dragon trainer, a character from the original Pokémon Gameboy games and proceeds to deal fatal blows to his detractors and naysayers. It’s quite an unexpected sample and frame of reference but it shows the levels Buu is ready to take his artistry to.  This is followed by “Hands On My Nutz” ,a bravado track anchored on Buu’s go-getter spirit and playful demeanour. Over an upbeat and bouncy soundscape made up of lush synths and booming bass-driven drums, Buu gives audiences a glimpse into his daily activities as he moves through the city, stacking his chips and taking names. On” Flintstoned”, he pays homage to “The Flintstones” with Fred’s famous phrase and continues with his laidback flow and bravado. He is joined by fellow rapper  Tony Millions who complement Buu’s flow with his prevalent cadence and references to the classic cartoon.


“Sprinkle Some Mo” samples the classic E-40/Suga T track “Sprinkle Me”  and flips it into a modern-day Detroit music-infused piece with thumping drums. Once again, Buu steps up to bat with his distinct flow and expressive lyricism. Things slow down a bit on the aptly titled “Warm Weather” which talks about experiencing the Midwest’s winter while joking about leaving the region for a warmer climate. The chorus is quite relatable and catchy as well as he says “Getting Tired of the winter time where You need a coat and a warm sweater/All my life has been this/Snow and niggaz don’t go together/Let me pack up my shit so I can get to the warm weather”.“Get Da Cheese” is the characteristic go-getter jam that centers on Buu’s hustler spirit and ambition to get the proverbial cheese while swimming in women. He implores the lady with him to be patient because he has a lot on his mind and that is money. Buu goes a different route as he employs the classic Memphis sound on “Huh?!!”, a dark and trippy track that is underpinned by Buu’s unfiltered and street-savvy raps. Next is “Motivate”, a cinematic and hard-hitting track that explores the concept of legacy building and black excellence. Buu and rapper Majin D Luffy share their thoughts on collaborating and building for future generations instead of destroying one another. Lines like “You ain’t hard muthafucker you just got a gun/Let us see you squash an issue without using one/Let’s see you talk it out conflict resolution” help send the message home. In “Pick Up The Phone”, Buu talks about betrayal and lack of trust between two individuals who always argue and bicker. As the title suggests, Buu resorts to asking the pertinent question of who will be the bigger person and pick up the phone to resolve the issue.


Tracks like “Sellout”, “Outter Space”  and “On Fire” all border on different topics ranging from snitching, taking women on trips to space and a tribute to NO respectively. The production of the tracks varies and Buu’s knack for painting vivid pictures with his rhymes is commendable. “Disappear” is an introvert anthem and talks about Buu finding his voice amid the white noise and far away from the madding crowd. “All I Need/Hopeless Romantics” is an interesting discourse into modern dating and how Millenials and Gen Z differ in their approaches. Over the soft and sombre piano-laden backdrop, Buu talks about his experiences in the dating field and the ups and downs of dating apps and social media-influenced preferences of women.

He “moves on to more uplifting topics on “Shine”, a mellow bouncy track made up of a classic drum break and vocal sample to match. Here, he shares some motivational and inspirational gems for all to not give up and shine our light on the world. The final song “Mama’s Song” is a tribute song to Buu’s moms who raised him and gave him some wise words that helped shape him into the man that he is now. He gives listeners a glimpse into his journey through life and talks about the many mistakes and pitfalls he found himself in. In the end, Buu can find his true purpose using the guidance his mother gave him and it’s only right he shows her love and appreciation.

Overall 40 Below sticks to familiar terrain as Buu E. Radley delivers exactly what he promised and doesn’t try to go over our heads waffling about things he doesn’t know. His little touches on his past, and childhood and show of vulnerability on some of the tracks are commendable as well.




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