Slow Roll- [Boldy James] x [The Alchemist]

There’s no denying the extremely evident talent of Detroit veteran Boldy James. I myself am not as familiar with him as I probably should be, but I am aware of his skill and the reason why he has managed to stick around for so long in the Rap scene. The Alchemist is really the one who drew me into their collaborative project The Price of Tea in China because I’ve always been a fan of the uncharacteristic instrumentals he brings to life for some of my favorite rappers. Usually, these beats sound obscure and weird in the best way possible, because it truly gives a challenge to the artist he’s working with, always leading to an impressive and notable result.

After they dropped their collaborative effort earlier this year, the duo is back with a brand-new music video for their track “Slow Roll”. Alchemist brings this beat to life starting with some intergalactic, bubbly synths, some old school reminiscent drums, and some effective yet minimalistic percussion, among other strange but appealing instruments. Boldy’s voice is unaltered and sounds so pure and naturally assertive, which isn’t very common in the current climate of Rap music, so it truly does show that he’s an OG emcee. He seems nonchalant about his flows, providing what seems to be an effortless skill he possesses where he doesn’t even think about his rhymes anymore, as they just spew out naturally. It does seem that he picks up his attitude a bit more as the song goes on, showing slightly more enthusiasm and bouncing around on the eerie production. His cadence, although maybe not extremely rapid or mind-bending, is consistent and interesting, but it’s his words that truly bring the shock factor to this track. Some of these lyrics include incredibly creative wordplay that detail what Boldy’s life used to be like as he discusses guns, running from police in high-speed chases, and selling drugs, among many other intricate street tales.

As the visual begins, a somewhat infrared view from what looks like a military aircraft shows an aerial view of a landscape, but I’m not sure exactly what it was looking for. When they show Boldy, he’s cruising around in his car through the streets of what I’m assuming is the city that the airplane was surveilling. It’s a dark and dreary night, and as water covers the windshield, blue, green, and red lights reflect off of the rapper’s face. At first, I thought these might’ve been police lights, but it soon shows the rapper entering into a carwash, and these are just part of the tunnel he’s entering. I’m not sure what the significance is of the carwash in this video, but as it moves along and gets cleaned up, Boldy can be seen reciting his bars and counting stacks of money. Although the setting doesn’t change much at all, the different colors and everything happening outside of the car while Boldy remained calm and entertaining inside was just appealing to me for some unexplainable reason.

I definitely have to make time to go back and check out The Price of Tea in China because I really like the dynamic between these two artists. Then again, I like pretty much every collaboration that involves The Alchemist so I’m not surprised because he never aligns himself or works with average rappers, so this was bound to be a success from the very beginning. Boldy’s unapologetically nonchalant flow mixed with the uncharacteristic sounds in the instrumental truly brings this song to levels unlike anything else out right now. If you’ve been sleeping on Boldy James and The Alchemist’s collaborative album like I have, wake up by checking out the “Slow Roll” music video as soon as you get the chance.