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Killing Nothing

by Boldy James & Real Bad Man

Released May 20, 2022 via Real Bad Man Records

Reviewed May 31, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Open Door (44%), Water Under the Bridge (39%), Game Time (39%)

As Griselda’s sole representative of Detroit, Boldy James’ position amongst the primarily Buffalo-based heavyweights could have easily seen him take a backseat role. Yet, with every release since 2020’s The Price of Tea In China—the first of three collaborations with The Alchemist—Boldy James continues to refine his grimy sound and stand out as one of the collective’s most intriguing emcees. Killing Nothing marks his second collaboration with Real Bad Man, coming just about a year and half after Real Bad Boldy. Continuing themes of his previous efforts and those common amongst many Griselda-affiliated artists, the lyricism of Killing Nothing focuses heavily on cocaine as it intertwines with Boldy’s rap career and the greater picture of street life in general. Rooted in boom bap, Real Bad Man’s production fosters a sinister atmosphere even within relative simplicity. James slides on every second of it, operating with a level of poise that's rarely seen alongside such gritty, crime-laced drug raps. His stories indicate that he’s seen it all, but his delivery indicates a desensitization to it all and an attitude that’s as cutthroat as it is apathetic. Grimy street rap has been seeing a resurgence in recent years, but few rappers possess the storytelling ability and realness of Boldy James; Killing Nothing is just another example in a string of good to great projects proving so. – Dominick (8.5/10)


The imaginative mind of one Boldy James has cast his legacy in the likeness of Slick Rick, or Big L, whose pristine cadence and picturesque storytelling have gone above and beyond the norms of their respective eras. As Boldy Blocks well knows, iron sharpens iron, and his trademarked hazy bars have gone to battle with the likes of The Alchemist, Jay Versace, and Sterling Toles. For the second time, Boldy re-enters the creative arena with Real Bad Man, a Los Angeles-based collective of multimedia producers, to put pain in on yet another solid record. BoJack projects a slightly sinister, mainly cunning outlook on the events of his checkered past; Real Bad Man provides a soundtrack for James to flow on each track with the support of instrumental backdrops, looped for cartoonish effect. What Killing Nothing lacks in comparison to Boldy’s collaborations with The Alchemist, are the robust emotional perspectives from which he tends to rap from. Thankfully for Boldy, routinely releasing albums is a practice in keeping himself sharp, and fans fed, somewhat diluting the need for each project to meet amazing standards. Ironically, Boldy James is killing just about everything these days. – DeVán (7.7/10)


Alan: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.4/10 | Jared: 8/10

DeVán: 7.7/10 | Cam: 7/10 | Jacques: 6/10

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