Boonie Mayfield – Presents: Solomon Vaughn
Opening with ‘Brothafromanothamotha’, the album offers a soft tone with gentle piano and a wash of strings, setting up the story of the initial approach between musician and producer.
It’s a short skit that lays out the idea of believing in yourself and really going for it. ‘The Wonder Years’ holds on to the previous warm tone, shifting into the place where the serious hip hop launches into action. Boonie Mayfield’s style is laid back, not harsh, with a flow that eases the listener in and makes his music heard clearly with an understated insistence. Things take a different direction on ‘Driven (No Limits)’, with a gutsy synth that allows Mayfield to deliver his rap more in the style of Kanye, self assured and confident, with a faster flow. ‘Haterade’ takes a swirly carnival organ to create a sarcastic, playful tone, while Mayfield’s rap comes over as aggressive and spoiling for a fight, before ‘Audiopium’ kicks in as a short but sweet hit of smoothness, waxing lyrical on the addictive and narcotic nature of music. ‘Mile Hi’ opens with shards of indie rock on the glacial electric guitar tones, all woven together with the swooning strings and ethereal, effected vocals that jitter and spiral around the listener. It’s one of the more unusual and experimental moments on the album, a seven minute ambient wash of tones. ‘Blade Brown’ takes a solid groove and wraps it firmly around the listener’s head, a track that is lyrically engaging and ever so slightly sneering, while the brief skit ‘Boon Doc Who’ allows for a moment to pause and let rip on some bluesy riffing before moving on to ‘On The One’, which creates an almost religious, gospel tone with its swirling organ. By this point on the album, things start moving along pretty quickly with a number of skits – the parping ‘Titty Milk ‘N Cookies’ and the arrogant swagger of ‘That Can-O-Dam’ – and a flickering interlude entitled ‘Foya’ that makes use of a lounge vibe for Mayfield to flow over smoothly. ‘Glad I Found You’ incorporates a vintage tone that references modern concepts such as comic-cons, while Giane May’s guest vocal provides a very welcome change of tone, adding a curiously Motown vibe, treating the listener to some glorious harmonies that turn the track into a very appealing slice of R&B. The track stands out strongly on the album with its keen sense of humour and tongue in cheek ending where things appear to fall apart as Giane May begins to demand food. As the album begins to wind down, ‘Sloppy Seconds’ begins to calm things down with a faux weariness, before we are finally led in to ‘Closure (Forever I Go)’ which brings things to an end with a smoky piano that echoes out as Boonie Mayfield lets his distinctive rap flow over the notes. The echoing distant drums create a depth that feel melancholic as we come to the end, while the brittle, distorted guitar rises and falls to signal the conclusion of Boonie Mayfield Presents: Solomon Vaughn.