Bobby J from Rockaway – “Radio Days” review

This is the 2nd EP from Queens emcee Bobby J from Rockaway. Coming up as a protege of Kwamé, he would begin to turn heads in the underground during the summer of 2019 off the strength of his full-length debut Summer Classics along with his Statik Selektah produced debut EP Endless Summer, the latter being my introduction to his music along with 1 Mic & a Drum’s eponymous EP. Bobby then joined forces with Detroit veteran Hush to drop the collab album 718 II 313 last summer, of which they had the honor of playing 80% of to me at a studio a year prior. But just about 6 months later, he’s enlisting NYC producer Nef behind the boards to drop Radio Days.

After the intro, the first song “From the Jump” with J57 finds the 2 over a triumphant boom bap instrumental describing their plot to expand prior to Street Smartz & Wais P assisting Bobby on the soulful “Leaving” declaring that they’re never putting down the mics. “Something Like” is a rap rock/boom bap hybrid paying tribute to all the b-boys out there just before “Mind, Body & Soul” comes through with a more mellow sound as Bobby & Michael Fiya talk about feeling the vibes. “1 Love” brings back the soul for the ladies while the 7182313 interlude reunites with Hush to show off their chemistry over a trunk knocking beat. The penultimate track “Fade Away” mixes a crooning sample with some keys & a country guitar talking about what’s gonna happen when the flame burns out while “The Hangover” is a bluesy closer detailing having too much to drink the night before.

Endless Summer still stands as my favorite EP that Bobby has ever done but to have Radio Days be his first solo effort in 3 years, I’ll still take it. Nef’s production is some of his most interesting to date as the sounds I don’t think I’ve ever heard Bobby experiment with in the past, but that’s what makes it exciting because it tells me that he’s continuing to grow as an artist. If this is only a precursor to a sophomore album, then it could very well end up being his best.

Score: 3.5/5

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Hush & Bobby J from Rockaway – “718 II 313” review

This is the brand new collaborative album between Hush & Bobby J from Rockaway. One being a Detroit veteran coming up as 1/2 of Da Ruckus & the other being a Kwamé protege who’s been gaining traction in the underground in recent years. They linked up with each other during the pandemic & are releasing 718 II 313 after 2 years in the making with Hush spitting on every cut as well as producing a good majority of it.

“People” is a rock-influenced opener with Daru Jones on the drums telling the world that they do this rap shit for us whereas “Girls” takes a more soulful route as Paradime accompanies the 2 to talk about how all they see is bitches. Trick-Trick tags along for the disco-infused “Kolm” produced by Maestro Williams of the duo Silent Riot showing their love for the 313 just before “Runnin’” takes a more melodic approach talking about having to get out of this place they’re in mentally.

Meanwhile on “Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”, we have Hush & Bobby over a piano-laced boom bap instrumental as they acknowledge that shit’s been getting crazy out here leading into Ro Spit coming into the picture for the smooth “Livin’ This Lifetime” talking about making this bread together. “The Truest” with Guilty Simpson & Marv Won finds the quartet flexing their lyrical abilities over a spacious beat with Daru back on the drums once more, but then the D.L. Jones-laced “Sometimes” is a compelling Hush solo cut talking about wishing we had more time.

“Let the Opera Sing” shoots for an appropriately operatic sound calling to be shown respect while the rugged “Oh Yeah” with Lil D finds the trio getting in their hardcore bag. The song “Capers” with The Truth brings the guitars back in to talk about getting that bread until they’re gone while the penultimate track “Posse Cut” with Kwamé, Michael Fiya & Quest MCODY is a 4 minute & 20 second barfest with a glossy instrumental. “The End” closes out the album with a love letter to Hush’s career.

These guys invited me to the studio last year so they could play 95% of the album for me as they were putting the final touches onto it & I’m telling y’all that this is one of the best projects that either one of them have made. They bring the best out of each other as far as chemistry goes, it’s incredibly well-produced & the features are all nicely handpicked.

Score: 4.5/5