Sonnyjim / The Purist - White Girl Wasted Music Album Reviews

Sonnyjim / The Purist - White Girl Wasted Music Album Reviews
With appearances from MF Doom, Jay Electronica, Madlib, and DJ Premier, the full-length collaborative debut from the rapper and producer is a nostalgic ode to druggy hedonism and classic boom-bap.

As debut albums go, White Girl Wasted has a particularly auspicious origin story. Brighton-based producer and Daupe! label owner the Purist (Lawrence Lord) and London-via-Birmingham rapper-producer Sonnyjim (Sonny Sathi) had just spent the second weekend of September 2018 completely off their heads at Croatia’s Outlook Festival. Returning home after four days of debauchery in a 19th-century fort, they hit the studio and came up with a doozy of a beat: an airy lo-fi flute sample gliding gently over smooth blaxploitation funk. Sonnyjim laid a verse and nailed it in one take. They thought it sounded like an MF Doom joint, so they sent it over on a whim. Doom responded with a full verse, so they popped a bottle of champagne and sent it to Jay Electronica. In came another verse. By the time Doom got back in touch to licence the track for an Adult Swim compilation, they figured they were sitting on gold. So they kept the track and got to work channelling their creative chemistry into a full-length album.

Four years later we get the duo’s collaborative debut: a nostalgic ode to druggy hedonism and classic boom-bap, set in a gritty ’80s fantasyland populated by St. Tropez models, New York gangsters, Russian boxers, and a bevy of East Coast rap legends. Sonnyjim raps about cooking, dealing, and consuming drugs with laid-back delivery and single-minded devotion. The debauchery is sometimes sinister, sometimes cartoonish, but it provides the perfect backdrop for him to showcase his eye for quotables and his lethal nonchalance. “I’m Rick James rockin’ Slick Rick chains,” he raps on “Doc Ellis.” Elsewhere, he breezes through clever tongue-twisters about boxing (“The one hit will Kostya Tszyu ya like Zab Judah”) and showboats his way through a bar referencing Anna Kournikova, Casanova, and Gorgonzola.

The real star of the show, however, is the Purist, whose lush, sample-heavy production infuses this drug-hazed world with psychedelic color and energy. The producer, who has collaborated with Action Bronson, Freddie Gibbs, and Danny Brown, spent his early years buying and flipping rare records to producers looking for fresh samples. He brings that same crate-digging approach to White Girl Wasted, pulling samples from a string of ultra-obscure and ungooglable songs spanning genres and continents. The woozy funk beat on lead single “Barz Simpson” conjures a seamy, smoky, post-disco world where Sonnyjim, MF Doom, and Jay Electronica can run wild. Doom’s posthumous verse is deservedly the main draw, his throaty bars packing philosophical insight and street violence into dense little rhymes. But the other two don’t pull any punches, stacking up rhymes and references like it’s the Jenga World Championship.

Other high-profile collaborators add their charms. “Doc Ellis”—which features production by DJ Premier—keeps the nostalgia going with record scratches and shoutouts to “authentic hip-hop” set to thrusting bass notes and an ominous piano line that recalls the work of DJ Shadow. The hallucinatory dazzle of “Does Mushrooms Once” comes via a Madlib beat, itself sourced on a four-day, shrooms-fueled excursion through Madlib’s hard drive.

The clever interstitial samples throughout the record—a snippet of Paris Hilton’s court confession, Leo DiCaprio’s quaaludes sales pitch from The Wolf of Wall Street, a Joey Diaz spoken word piece about hunting for cocaine in a hotel toilet bowl—tie everything together into one contiguous pop-culture drug binge. Even the weakest cut—“999,” featuring Lee Scott and Milkaveli—has some memorable rhymes (“I turn up in a MAGA hat and Kaepernick sweat”) to go with the Purist’s slinky, irascible flute-and-drums beat.

The album’s 20-minute runtime keeps things from flagging, and the occasional lyrical clunker (“Life’s a bitch I ain’t have no rubber but I stuck my dick in”) barely registers. It would have been tempting, especially with the high-profile collabs, to cram in as much material as possible, illustrating the depth and breadth of these prolific UK rap veterans’ work over the past decade. But, like the dealers who populate their music, the Purist and Sonnyjim recognize the value of giving you just enough of the good stuff to leave you wanting more.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Sonnyjim / The Purist - White Girl Wasted Music Album Reviews Sonnyjim / The Purist - White Girl Wasted Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, September 16, 2022 Rating: 5

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