Blvd of Beatbox Dreams
Blvd is not hiding who they recorded Music for People for, as they make it obvious in the title: the people. A mix of light hip-hop and mainstream electronica, Music is a pop album that appeals to a majority of people who listen to their favorite Top 40 radio station anywhere in the country. Blvd is comprised of wordsmith Souleye and three band members who play the drums, bass, and electric guitar, releasing an album that is consistently catchy at its best.While Blvd started out as an instrumental group, the focus of Music is off their arrangements and instead on Souleye. While not the most gifted lyricist, he is a capable rapper who flows in a sing-song pattern that is appealing, yet elementary. He has a habit of repeating words and phrases to fill in space and time, maybe as a form of beatboxing or maybe because his flow is sometimes too quick that his improvisational wordplay cannot keep up. Either way, it works.
Souleye’s echoing of the song titles “Music is a Medicine,” “Sounds of Blvd,” and “Moments Away” can almost take up another verse, although this tactic makes these songs catchy in order to appeal to a mainstream audience. One of the worst offenders of this method is “Stamina,” which ends up being the highlight of the album as Souleye repeats the hip-hop mantra “can’t stop, won’t stop” between his rattled-off verses. The beatboxing on “Attachment” is reminiscent of “Break Anotha” by Blake Lewis, which can be a compliment or critique based on one’s affinity for “American Idol” runners-up.
Souleye describes himself best on “Come Along,” where he chants, “I’m a hype MC!” He definitely knows what he’s talking about, as he can get the crowd going, rap memorable words, and make music for the people. He is just waiting for Top 40 to jump on board.