Buggs Tha Rocka - Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet (Review)

Buggs Tha Rocka - Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet (Review)

"Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet" is the latest album from Cincinnati rapper Buggs Tha Rocka. The album features guest appearances from MOOD, Chuck Inglish, Aida Chakra, Tanya Morgan and others as well as production from !llmind, Jake One, Sal Dali, Hop Trax and others. It is set to be released on December 10, 2014 via Buggs Tha Rocka's website.

1) Scattered Thoughts Intro - The first song on the album finds Buggs Tha Rocka kicking some boastful rhymes about himself over a smooth instrumental by Sal Dali. The beat is real nice, with uplifting horns and the occasional vocal sample over energetic drums, and Buggs flows effortlessly over it. Dope way to start off the album. - 4/5

2) My$tery (produced by Sal Dali) - The instrumental on this cut, also by Sal Dali, is centered around frantic synths and hard pianos over stomping drums, but it's not quite as good as the beat on the first track for me. Lyrically the song is pretty dope though, with Buggs Tha Rocka coming through and spitting some more braggadocios rhymes about himself and about how he is one of raps elite. - 3/5

3) Against Me (featuring Aida Chakra) - New Jersey based producer !llmind delivers the beat on this joint, coming with some breezy strings and a soaring vocal sample that is probably my favorite beat on the project so far. Luckily the rhymes are just as good as the production, with Buggs ripping the instrumental and Aida Chakra providing a beautiful chorus. This one's a banger. - 4/5

4) Bad Habits - Buggs Tha Rocka spits some more boastful raps over a chopped up soul sample from Hop Trax. The beat is fire and Buggs sounds great over it, making this cut another one of the albums standout tracks for me. - 4/5

5) Until The End (featuring MOOD and Phoenix Aphrodite) - !llmind returns to production duties on this track and delivers a more somber instrumental than his first appearance, but it's pretty nice as well. As far as the rhymes go, this song finds Buggs linking up with Cincinnati hip-hop group MOOD (who's album "Doom" is a personal classic for me) as all three emcees kick some socially conscious rhymes with Phoenix Aphrodite providing the hook. - 3.25/5

6) Phantom of The Opera (featuring Chuck Inglish) - Well this is a little different. Buggs Tha Rocka and guest Chuck Inglish rap about trying to get that money over a Kill Will instrumental centered around some distorted keys and deep bass. The production is definitely unique on the album so far, but the rhymes are not quite as good as those found on some of the other songs. Still, that chorus keeps getting stuck in my head for some reason. - 3.25/5

7) Angel of Death (featuring Piakhan) - The beat on this cut, courtesy of Hop Trax, features a bouncy piano loop that brings the energy back after the more mellow previous song. The production has definitely got my head nodding and both Buggs and guest Piakhan rip it while kicking some more boastful rhymes. - 3.75/5

8) Moments Slowed Down - Buggs Tha Rocket changes up styles yet again, this time rhyming with distorted vocals over an instrumental by Alister Johnson that seems to have its roots in Trance/EDM. The song is definitely experimental and it mostly works, but there are better songs on here in my opinion. Still, not bad by any means. - 3/5

9) Rapture (featuring Phoenix Aphrodite) - The !llmind beat on this cut is pretty mellow, with a subtle vocal loop over chimes and interesting percussion, but the shit is pretty dope. Lyrically the song is nice as well, with Buggs kicking some socially conscious rhymes while Phoenix Aphrodite comes with the chorus. - 3.25/5

10) Religiously (featuring Donte from MOOD) - Buggs links back up with Donte from MOOD over another mellow instrumental, this time having a boom-bap vibe and being produced by Hop Trax. The beat is real dope and both emcees sound great over it, spitting some personal raps while incorporating religious imagery into their rhymes. - 3.5/5

from Buggs Tha Rocka on Vimeo.

11) Royalty Interlude - This song finds Buggs Tha Rocka going off over another !llmind production, this time with a chopped up guitar and vocal sample. Eh, this isn't terrible, but there are much better songs on here. I do like the way the beat changes up when the more soulful vocals come in though. - 3/5

12) Rolling Stone - The beat on this cut, provided yet again by !llmind, sounds similar in tone to the previous track, but with some extra strings coming in during the second verse. Lyrically the song is pretty nice as well, with Buggs touching on a variety of topics from bragging about his mic skills to telling a story about meeting a fan. - 3.5/5

13) My Everything (featuring Phoenix Aphrodite) - Buggs Tha Rocka kicks some love raps over a unique sounding Yon L.i. instrumental centered around some light synths, a cut up vocal sample and hand claps. The beat and rhymes are good enough, but this one gets lost in the shuffle for me. - 3/5

14) Thirsty (featuring Donte from MOOD and Ianigma) - This is the sole contribution on the album from veteran hip-hop producer Jake One and it's pretty nice. The beat is kind of smooth, with a light piano/key sample over head nodding drums, and all three emcees sound good enough over it while they kick some sex raps. - 3.5/5

15) OuterXSpaceXLove (featuring Pappadon) - This is the third love/sex song in a row and it's about on par with the others, with Buggs Tha Rocka doing his thing over a smooth Swiff D instrumental while Pappadon provides the hook. I'm feelin' the previous track more than this one though. - 3/5

16) Celebration For Us (featuring Moxy Monster) - Buggs and guest Moxy Monster rap about finally making it big over an upbeat Rusko instrumental full of celebratory synths, lively drums and the occasional backing vocals. Eh, not bad, but there is nothing that really stands out about this track to me. - 3/5

17) Electric Eel in a Pool of Catfish (featuring Tanya Morgan) - This cut also has a celebratory feel to it, with Buggs Tha Rocka and fellow Cincinnati emcee Tanya Morgan both kicking some carefree bars about enjoying life over a dope horn-based Beats McGreevy production. I'm really diggin' this one. Nice. - 4/5

18) Skates - Sal Dali returns to the production duties on this track and comes with a jazzy piano loop that's definitely got me nodding my head. Lyrically the song is just as nice as the production, with Buggs rhyming about his mic skills and how he was born to do this rap shit. Dope. - 4/5

19) Time Machine (Shine) (featuring Aida Chakra) - The final song on the album finds Buggs Tha Rocka and Aida Chakra both spitting fire over a beautiful Hop Trax instrumental centered around a breezy sample that is very familiar to me, but I can't place for some reason. Either way, this shit is dope and is a real nice way to close out the album. - 4/5

I'm going to rate the album

3.5 / 5

because there is some quality material on here, but there is some filler as well. The production is really nice and varied throughout, with songs ranging from breezy samples ("Scattered Thoughts Intro") to boom-bap bangers ("Religiously") to electronica-inspried instrumentals ("Moments Slowed Down"). When it works, it works brilliantly. When it doesn't, it's usually a near miss. Any project with 19 songs is bound to have some misses and there are a handful on here, but there is nothing on the album that can be considered terrible and every song had some redeeming qualities. As far as the rhymes go, Buggs Tha Rocka can definitely spit and changes up the subject matter on almost every song. There are a few sections of the album that have a run of songs that all have similar topics, but it's not overwhelming. All in all, the album is quite nice. Download it free over on Buggs Tha Rocka's website


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