RudySamA – Love You 2 – Album Review
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
Been doing this review thing for quite a while now homies…I ain’t gonna lie to ya, as consistently exciting as the independent music-scene always is and as much as it can inspire me to hear what’s new out there – sometimes a guy gets to the end of one of these days and just wants to vegetate for a minute or two, you feel me?
But if artist RudySamA can grind it out at a job and then head straight to side-hustlin’ his hobbies every day, the least I can do is write a few more lines here and turn his latest record right up in support.
Here’s the facts…I’m up for a reason – it’s because I am INSPIRED. Why am I inspired? Ask RudySamA! Alright…he’s probably chillin’ – don’t disturb him, I’ll tell ya… Like…look…it’s hard to put into words – but you just won’t often run into an artist this grounded, honest, and humble in the Rap game. And don’t get me wrong…that doesn’t mean he won’t come at it hard at times – listen to a track like “Black Heart Emoji” in the middle of the record and believe me, you’ll get an idea of what the man might be like if you were to cross him. That being said – I’m with Maya Angelou – and the first time we hear from RudySamA in the “Welcome (Intro),” to me, told me almost everything I’d need to know about the character of the man behind the microphone. He introduces himself right from the drop, on “Welcome (Intro),” he’ll say: “Welcome. I am RudySamA. I currently work as a janitor at a local grocery store during the graveyard shifts. I also make music. I make art, via these soundwaves. I’ve always been a quiet person, humbly entertaining thoughts which later manifest into reality. I love my family. I love my friends, my neighbors, and my co-workers alike. I love my life. I love myself. Oh – and uh, I Love You 2.” All I’m sayin’ is, you can be as hard in any rhyme you want to – but after that, you’ve already revealed your cards homie – we know who you are and what you’re all about. RudySamA is a rapper with heart.
There’s a good chance that “Chemical Stew” is my favorite of the set, or at the very least, right up there at the top…ain’t gonna lie to ya, these tracks are short in length but stocked with quality…it’s not like just choosing a favorite would be necessarily easy here. “Chemical Stew” is a strong candidate for me based mostly on personal taste…I don’t really think you’re gonna find RudySamA out of place on any of these tunes – the man keeps his flow finessed & flawless…so it really just comes down to what appeals to your ears the most. For me, I dig that extra weight, tension, and drama in the music of “Chemical Stew” – it’s melancholy AF, but not like, in a way that brings you down – more like you’re sincerely invested & interested in the sound of this cut every step of the way. Don’t get caught sleepin’ on this cut – and listen closely to these words he’s spittin’ – not only is RudySamA laying out some extremely personal details, but listen to the emphasis, phrasing, and pace – listen to the poetic design of the words. He’ll question life, love, and drugs throughout “Chemical Stew” and draw the parallels between these worlds as well, how they interact & intersect. Dude’s got a whole pharmacy’s worth of drugs listed out in “Chemical Stew” – the music keeps it hazy to complement the idea through the vibe, same goes for the main star of the show – he delivers this cut stylistically with a perfectly suited flow. Mix is on-point, the vibe is killer, RudySamA puts in his best performance…can’t ask for much more than this.
Look…no one’s gonna tell RudySamA to be one way or the other…that’s all on him & how he wants to present himself as a rapper & emcee in the game – that’s all up to him. To me, I ain’t gonna lie – it’s the personality of the guy on the mic during the “Welcome (Intro)” and that first impression that connects with me the most – for others, it’ll be that flipside, where he brings it to a darker place, like on “Black Heart Emoji.” Like I was saying earlier in talking about “Chemical Stew” – we all like what we like, there’s no wrong answer here. Main point is, RudySamA generally keeps the quality up on each of these cuts, no matter what gear he’s rollin’ in. I suppose my advice would be that, when the words go hard – that’s when you wanna go hard with’em – know what I mean? RudySamA’s cadence, sound, and chill delivery make it seem like the peaceful route is always going to be the one that naturally suits him best – when gettin’ gritty & graphic with it like you’ll find on “Black Heart Emoji,” you’ll find you want a bit of fire & spark with words like these. Signature styles are what they are – I get that – but I’m always about finding what works best for the song – and even with the slick & smooth sounds of the music, as an emcee, RudySamA can still get amped up and really make the most of moments like these with a bit more energy or a shift in the edge or tone of his voice to slide right into the atmosphere surrounding him. He’s pretty much slow trappin’ here at times…I don’t really think it’s too much of a defining factor, there’s a whole blend of crossover sound in the way RudySamA does his thang – but yeah, “Black Heart Emoji,” even with being one of the more explicit cuts on this record, is probably still one of the most accessible at the same time in many ways in considering what the people out there are listening to.
I like that RudySamA isn’t totally outside of the modern-day vibe & what’s out there right now, but it’s not exactly like he’s entirely a part of it either. A song like “Feel The Infinity” for example – you can hear why and how it might appeal to the people digging the current Club/R&B flavor that’s dominating the airwaves out there…this would be a slow-burning example of that sound, but related all the same. For the vast majority of these songs, I really dig how they’re mixed and how they sound; I think “Feel The Infinity” might contain the only crack in that armor with one repetitive element of this track a bit too high up on the levels. “Garden” and “Black Heart Emoji” use something similar as well…I had moments with each of those cuts that I felt like this might be slightly too far up in the mix also, but by comparison, it’s not nearly as significant as what you’ll hear running rampant throughout “Feel The Infinity.” And that’s where the man wants to be careful…if it’s a jagged sound that cuts right through…sharp on the ears – generally-speaking, that means you can get away with it being real low in a mix and it’ll still make the impact you’re looking for. Turning up a frequency or grating sound like that becomes a huge risk in contrast – if you bring it up too far, it’ll dominate the mix and shrink everything else by comparison – and I think that happens a bit in the case of the potential for “Feel The Infinity” and what it could be. Could be me…could be the mix on a set of speakers or settings on any stereo really…just sounds like there’s still a ton of room for the low-end to have more of a presence, which again, might just be the result of having those clickin’ sounds of the electro-percussion up so far in the mix…honestly hard to say. All this being said, I still think there’s an idea here…and with a slight touch-up or remix, it might get to where he wants this cut to go…in “Feel The Infinity,” I feel that spiritual vibe he’s looking to conjure up – and here’s an example of where he’d want that smoothness to combine in both the vocals & music to create that soul-soothing sound he’s looking for to complement the words he’s written. Having a sharper sound or more distinct element of the music that consistently stands-out always comes with risk – it can threaten the overall vibe, it can become distracting or sometimes the only thing we hear; all I’m advocating for, is that RudySamA keeps that in mind and makes sure his words don’t go to waste is all.
Like I told ya at the beginning of this review, RudySamA can take it to a hard place if that’s what’s required & suits the song he’s workin’ on…he’s given ya a taste of that on “Black Heart Emoji” and “Feel The Infinity” back-to-back – he’ll lighten up the mood and flip the script again on “Glimpse Of Me.” And don’t get me wrong – I think there are certainly parts of RudySamA’s story within all of these songs, even the harder-side…but I also think you’ll hear more of a sincere connection between him and the most positive environments he creates for himself via music. He’s big on introspection right now throughout Love You 2 – he’s really making sure that we get to know who he is & what he’s all about on this record, and props for doing that…in many an artist’s case out there, it takes making a record like this in order to free yourself up to make the ones to follow. Kind of like an origin story, if you will. In many ways, Love You 2 plays like an audible conversation between him & himself, sorting out the details of life and how to live it while we all sit around & listen. Personally, I dig that. It’s not gonna work for every record of course – but RudySamA is a busy man as I pointed out at the beginning of this review – and in fact, he released two EP’s and several singles last year, in addition to already pumping out ANOTHER single earlier in 2019 called “Still Here.” “Still Here?” Man – you just GOT here! And since you jumped onto the mic, from what I can see online, you haven’t even put it down yet homie! “Glimpse Of Me” will take you into RudySamA’s family history and gives you a ton of the background that’s contributed to him becoming the man he is today, good times & bad. What I love about “Glimpse Of Me” is the level of acceptance you’ll find…he’s not shying away from the negative parts of his upbringing, and he’s proud of where he’s at now, which he should be. Life builds character in us all, like it or not. RudySamA is clearly building upon his own evolution, pushing himself forward, and spiritually finding his center in this world.
“Affirmations (Outro)” is…well…it’s exactly what the title implies really. RudySamA revisits the haunting melody of the opening “Welcome (Intro)” to say goodbye here at the end via a whole bunch of “Affirmations” and words to live by. The Positive Hip-Hop community is callin’ out to this emcee, I’m tellin’ ya…songs like the “Welcome (Intro),” “Glimpse Of Me” and this last cut here all speak to that. RudySamA might have to put away a few of the dick & pussy references if he’s gonna go that route, but not necessarily. The most important thing he can do to continue building his following in my opinion, is to keep on doing exactly as he IS doing now, just keeping it unfiltered, raw, real, and true to himself. If that means he wants to be rappin’ about fuckin’ bitches or whatever, I mean sure – he can do that – he’s made it work here on a few of the cuts throughout this record…I’m just sayin’ based on everything I’ve heard and the way this man writes a rhyme with the perspective he has…I think he’s cut out for more. RudySamA don’t need to do anything typical or be like anyone other than who he is to make that connection listeners are craving. Dude’s unique…Love You 2, has been unique…RudySamA can’t hide the heart far enough under the hard stuff for us to miss it – but in the end, I think that’ll be exactly what pays off most for him.
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