buddy-image-twitter
Photo: Twitter

We Need to Pay Attention to Buddy

The first time I thought Buddy landed was back in 2012. At the time the West Coast (specifically Compton) had been enjoying a resurgence. The Game was prepping Je5us Piece, Kendrick Lamar was becoming a mainstream obsession and YG’s mixtapes were making national noise. All eyes were once again on a city that had played a central role in rap’s evolution.

The timing couldn’t be better for Buddy. He’d signed to the Neptunes’ Star Trak  imprint the year before and the blog consensus was that it was just a matter of time. Then he dropped a song called “Staircases,” which featured Lamar and production from the Neptunes. With shit lined up like that, I was sure Buddy was, for lack of a more refined term, outta here.

I was wrong. As good of a song as “Staircases” is, it wasn’t the song that put Buddy into the leader of the new school category. Since then, from the outside, his trajectory seemed to have all but flatlined. Aside from a handful of collaborations, Buddy’s been largely quiet on both the underground and commercial circuits

But I wasn’t wrong for thinking that Buddy would one day be outta here. After releasing Ocean & Montana, his new EP produced by Kaytranada, he’s ready to make it happen

Buddy’s return began late last November when he released “Shine,” the feel good anthem that premiered on Apple Music via its playlist guru Carl Chery. The song began to gain steam on streaming services and it’s become Buddy’s trademark. Over an instrumental that sounds like rolling hills and exhilarating open air, he melodically liberates himself from his anxieties, willing positivity into his spirit. The video is similarly endearing, but it also allows the viewer to focus on the complexity of Buddy’s inner-workings, which judging by Ocean & Montana, is an important aspect of his message.

Ocean & Montana opens with “Find Me,” the only track Buddy released ahead of today’s release date. This morning, the music video also dropped.

While “Shine” found Buddy more assertive about his happiness, “Find Me” is rooted in the confusing uncertainty and insecurity that often accompanies soul searching. The video relays that sentiment perfectly, placing Buddy in a flying car near the “pearly gates” he wished to experience on “Shine,” but without the stability he needs to steer it correctly. Ultimately, he opts to just let himself go, eventually ending up on the roof of the car as it teeters through the heavens on its own. To Buddy’s surprise, he loves every minute of it.

The rest of Ocean & Montana plays out like a day in Buddy’s life. On “A Lite,” the nuanced—and agonizing—feeling of not having a lighter to spark a freshly-rolled blunt ripples out into ruminations on social and romantic experiences. The actual Ocean and Montana that the EP takes it’s name from is an intersection bordering a touristy stretch of beach of Santa Monica, and you can feel the vibe of street performers in the staccato drum pattern of “Guillotine.” On the song’s vintage, soulful chorus he wails, “What you know about me?” The response comes in chopped-and-screwed vocals: “Not a goddamn thing.”

Buddy isn’t isolating. Instead, he’s throwing himself into the world and owning those experiences, drilling himself on the idea that having it all together all the time is neither the rule nor the exception. It’s an illusionary goal anyway, and the comfort he’s found in that truth makes Ocean & Montana some of the most relatable music I’ve heard in quite a while.

Related Posts

Music
Music

Buddy’s Soulful “Find Me” is About Loneliness Yet Feels Content

Music
Music

Buddying Up with Compton’s Buddy

Music
Music

Kaytranada Releases TLC and Latrelle Remixes from .001% Mix

Music
Music

Kaytranada “Lite Spots” Video

News
News

Frank Ocean Talks ‘Blonde’ In Brief, Unreleased Interview

Ad

Latest News

nas-rapture Film

PREPARE FOR ‘RAPTURE’

Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."
Video

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over