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Super Tecmo Bo

by Boldy James & the Alchemist

Released December 17, 2021 via ALC Records

Reviewed December 31, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Moth In The Flame (54%), Hot Water Tank (43%), Bumps and Bruises (39%)

Super Tecmo Bo is a sort of victory lap after following the commercial and critical success of Boldy and The Alchemist’s earlier collaboration in 2021, Bo Jackson. Continuing with the Bo Jackson persona, James crafts his most condensed, yet concise work yet. The Alchemist’s production is stellar as ever, with a dusty atmosphere surrounding jazz stylings which is perfect for an emcee like James. Boldy James has this immediacy which isn’t found on most of his other records that’s refreshing to hear; it adds another layer to his already densely written lyrics. Some of the most creative production from Alchemist yet and Boldy at the top of his game, what more could you want? – Jared (8.5/10)

Boldy James continues to show and prove how he’s long become The Alchemist’s favorite collaborator over the years, now with Super Tecmo Bo, a sister project and follow up to Bo Jackson. In it, James builds verses that easily rival some of the best from Bo Jackson––it’s becoming repetitive to conclude that, yet again, Boldy has elevated the bar for his lyrical prowess. Each track is its own bit of gangster cinema. In only nine tracks long at just over 26 minutes, Super Tecmo Bo is rife, colorful storytelling that fills out the listening experience, making for rewarding relistens to dig for different details. As for production, “the standard is the standard,” as they say; The Alchemist always appears right in his comfort zone producing for James, and the chemistry they share as artists is always trending in an upward fashion. – DeVán (8.2/10)

With each Boldy James record comes a new discussion to be had. A re-shuffling of the deck that asks one question: Who are the best rappers working right now? It seems that James has no problem climbing that list for many enveloped by the underground rap scene. Which––album by album––draws both Boldy James and The Alchemist out from the shadows of a genre they are so pivotal in carrying. Super Tecmo Bo is yet another trick in a bag that’s been growing heavier, as James navigates instrumentals mired in a cold melancholy, with a foreboding nature that only Alchemist could deliver. James seems even more comfortable behind the mic than the already-sensational Bo Jackson displayed earlier in 2021. This project trims the very stringent fat of this duo’s previous release into 26 minutes split between two professionals; a storyteller and a beatmaker once again proving how important they both are to the game. – Ben (Synth) (8/10)

Jared: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.3/10 | DeVán: 8.2/10

Ben (Synth): 8/10 | Cam: 8/10 | Dominick: 8/10


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