Houston rapper Acid Souljah has been steadily updating me on the progress of his new tape BasedBoyBillionaire for some months now, with three singles (the abrasive ‘I Can’t Keep Track’, the rugged ‘25i’ and the venomous ‘BasedBoySouljahs’ with Xhris2Eazy) offering glimpses into the tape’s layered, cybernetic production. Such a sound is key to the success of many of these songs, most of all the intense intro ‘BasedBoys Gleamin’. Here, Acid raps about the struggles of his daily life, revealing one of his strongest flows to date. Abnormal Area contributes the vocal assist, his barbed lyrical attacks in keeping with the theme of the track. ScrewManeFlame’s minimal production is frequently interrupted by tags and sound effects during Abnormal’s verse, giving it the feeling of barely contained chaos.
Production-wise, this project focuses on a small group of beatmakers to craft its highly unique sound. Two of the aforementioned singles are produced by Zoot, and are two of the most atmospheric trap cuts I’ve heard this year. KnwCtrl’s contribution to ‘Burn It’ is similarly effective, synths leaping from the track as Acid turns the song into one of BasedBoy’s catchiest tracks. The other four songs are handled by Seepy, who can also be considered executive producer as he mixed every song here and handled the album art. Acid and Seepy sound like a duo born to collaborate on the crushing ‘Comin In!’, one of the shortest but most powerful songs on offer here.
Seepy’s versatility as a producer leads to the Pi’erre Bourne-esque sounds of ‘Mayday’ and the breezy almost title track ‘BasedBoyBillionaire Anthem’. These tracks aren’t the most dynamic on the project, but they tie the tape together by unifying Acid’s razor-sharp delivery with the constantly shifting sounds of his most valuable collaborator. It was smart too to end things with ‘I Can’t Keep Track’, it’s by far the eeriest, most fascinating trapping anthem of the year. Clearly, Acid has worked extremely hard to ensure that this tape is of consistently high quality both in sound and content, flows extremely satisfyingly, and ends with some well-recognised classics.