The Experienced Listener Presents: Ipod Muzik 2: I AM SCHOLAR, by John Bussie


The Experienced Listener Presents:  Ipod Muzik 2: I AM SCHOLAR, by John Bussie

iPod Muzik 2: I AM SCHOLAR by John Bussie

Okay, I’m geeked now.  I’m so geeked, I think I’ma start off with some geek-speak.  You know how Goku on Dragonball Z goes from having black hair and black eyes to gold hair and green eyes when he goes Super Saiyan?  Like, “Who is this guy? He ain’t the same as he was before…”  Well, that’s how you’ll feel about John Bussie after hearing the first Ipod Muzik, then playing Ipod Muzik 2: I AM SCHOLAR.  He proves he can do wonders on Ipod Muzik; wonders actually get done on Ipod Muzik 2.  It’s a whole different sound than before. And, doing even more justice to the legacy of James Brown, Ipod Muzik 2 brings a soulful sound that wasn’t present on the first mixtape.

Before the first kick drum or snare hits on this mixtape, let’s observe the words found on The Introduction:

Action…  As I take a moment to reveal my passion/

And the passion I reveal is so massive/

That with no maskin, I’ve kidnapped your mind with no ransom/

You see, the first mixtape was so lethal/

How through clever words I could reach you/

And through pure wit I could teach you/

Without being misleading or deceitful/

Straying away from all the gun-bustin and drug runnin/

Even though I possess the credentials to speak about it/

I’d rather turn to the shit that keep me grounded/

Like the group of real niggas I keep around me/

Who ain’t focused on nothin but the mission to be astoundin/

It’s a hell of a feelin when you know you realer/

Than most niggas just by being yourself/

You so comfortable you c an be by yourself/

In a league of my own, just me and myself/

And I…/

That piece alone, with nothing but strings in the background, ALREADY surpasses 90% of the first Ipod Muzik .  And Bussie knows it, which is probably why he entitles the second track More Than A Intro.  I was instantly digging this track, because the drums upon entry remind me of this old OutKast/8Ball & MJG instrumental; important, because the feel of Dirty South is instantly all over the track.  Bussie comes in, and the situation instantly gets gritty:

See, while most niggas write rhymes/

I tell tales bout my lifetime/

They so intrigued by my life grind/

Of tryna be a millionaire with no lifeline/

Clique up wit some niggas through the night grind/

Until I found out that they grind wasn’t like mine/

The game dirty…/

While these so-called stars’ll change jerseys/

I continue to believe in Magic and James Worthy/

I think “worthy” is an excellent way to describe this track.  From the exceptional wordplay to the sweet guitar riff panned to the right speaker— and when I say sweet, I mean it instantly put me in mind of George Benson— More Than A Intro sets the table nicely for the rest of the mixtape.

Now… let me say that, when I attended ASU, I probably didn’t know any of the females to which Bussie refers in this next track.  Entitled Get It In, Bussie puts some of his female associates on blast for being of the somewhat-unchaste variety (ya’ll like how I put that, right).  Like the track before, Get It In is laced with a nice instrumental that comes complete with flowing water sounds for effect.  I was diggin the “laughing” vocal sample in the background on the chorus.  Verse 2 jumped out at me:

I knew this stripper named Delores; she was a Taurus/

That decided she could strip for a living and pay a mortgage/

Had a cute face, but her mental was distorted/

Cuz she actually thought that giving brain wudn’t important/

I guess the foreign, mindset was kinda borin’/

…Which eventually led to more gin/

Now more men tryna pour in after her/

…And she takin’ all challengers/

…Yeah, I never met a Delores in my whole life.  Like I said in the Ipod Muzik review, tracks like these aren’t my forte.  But I must say that this track supersedes She a Freak and Go Hard from the previous mixtape.

And like the first mixtape, Bussie goes from superficial freaks to deep introspection with the flip of a lamp light.  Over what sounds like a sample from Cherish the Day by Sade, Moment of Reflection takes us through John Bussie’s thought process.  And the overall vibe of the track does put me in mind of Thought Process from Goodie Mob’s Soul Food album.  It’s not the sound of the instrumental or the delivery of the verses, but just the inward focus, and the “4:00A.M. thinking” impression it creates.  The chorus goes:

In my search for perfection, I need a moment of reflection/

As I search for a personal connection, I need a moment of reflection/

As I cope in my state of neglection I need a moment of reflection/

It ain’t a question of a little nigga destined, I just need a moment of reflection/

…No, “neglection” is not an actual word.  But that’s cool, because you get the impression, so it still conveys the message.  That’s how reflection is sometimes. It seems that the idea or experience of death may have been the trigger that brought this track into existence if you examine this first verse:

See I got mad tendencies that I can’t reject/

That might endanger some of the people I can’t protect/

I seen my Grams cry, feelin’ that I can’t forget/

Cuz she tryna fight a fact that she can’t contest/

It’s death… yes/

I got secrets that I can’t confess/

I want more but I’m taking less/

Wanna go right but I’m breaking left/

I drive fast on my path and I find that I’m brakin less/

Living fast had a little nigga racing death/

But you can’t speed through life baby, it take finesse/

Need more tracks like these coming out of the South.  As a whole, it’s almost like people are afraid to be in their own minds.  Afraid of a little solitude.  They stay drunk, sexed up, surrounded by noise and otherwise distracted by any means possible to keep from… just reflecting.  That ain’t healthy or natural.

Speaking of drunkenness, Bussie himself introduces a little strong drink on the next track, Vodka Thoughts.
As the drink wears off, depression hits/

Searching this Henny, tryna figga what the message is/

So many blessings, you figga’d I wasn’t stressin shit/

I guess I’m destined in the end to be a pessimist/

Wit these feelings come suicidal thoughts/

In a suicidal rage, on a suicidal walk/

Then I figure if you contemplatin suicide you soft/

Then I re-evaluate and figga who I am I to talk/

…So maybe that’s what it is.  Maybe all these cats I know who have some form of addiction— drug or otherwise— are afraid that, underneath the high, lies nothing but a suicide slant.  Thankfully, but also hauntingly, Bussie comes back with this two line finish:

Despite the problems, guarantee that they ain’t stopping shit/

These just the thoughts of an everyday college kid/

I once watched a news report that said 90% of college students are unhappy, many experiencing depression.  I’m glad that Bussie was able to cope and overcome his struggles; there are many other college students who are less fortunate.  And substance abuse ain’t exactly a healthy defense mechanism… even if it works sometimes.  Anywasy…

Produced by Andre Ellis, aka Kevin Rachwel, Nite and Day follows up, as Bussie introduces a more romantic angle.  It’s not romance going on here, however; this track actually pivots on the theme of difficulty in relationships.  Over a marching rhythm and a weeping synth, Bussie details the situation:

…She wanna leave/

But by herself she don’t wanna be/

I relax her, and she comforts me/

 So in the end, we live comfortably/

…But I can’t decide/

Really if I wanna face the tide/

And we should be grateful and face the signs

It don’t add up, but we can’t-di-vide

…But we make our mind/

That I don’t wanna fuss, and she hate the lyin’/

She know I wanna rap, but she hates the grind/

We both want sex, but it ain’t the time/

…I need to vent /

But dat lil wish I don’t even get/

But it’s cool, I ain’t tryna be content/

I wanna be a better man, G to Gent/

I  really liked Bussie’s delivery on this part of the second verse.  He begins to run-on in a way around the 5th and 6th lines that creates a dope energy:

…Wonder if she still mad, probably/

Cuz she think that the whole world gossipin/

Wonder if the talk true, possibly/

And she sad cuz it don’t seem to bother me/

The fact that I hurt-hurt constantly/

It’s like a constant beef, it’s such a constant thing/

It’s like back in the day she was fond of me/

Now she in a situation so hard to leave/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24LCJUbN1Lg

I think the importance of this track is John Bussie’s ability to put emotion into his delivery.  He continues employing this skill as he rolls into his next track, Skin Deep.  Over another creative and fresh sounding instrumental, Bussie drops a first verse that, I can’t tell a lie, hits hella close to home:

…Her reputation is legendary/

But lil momma got a life she won’t ever tellme/

Which is trife, cuz my feelings now are getting scary/

She nice, had to say her name twice, Mary Mary/

She got dirt man, it’s too apparent/

Such a beautiful soul with such a lack of caring/

When she pass, that ass got all the niggas staring/

It’s like she beggin for attention with the shit she wearing/

Maybe she never knew her mom neither/

Maybe she was brought up around the wrong people/

…Man. Yo Bussie, can I dedicate this track to somebody?  The song boils down to the sad story of a female with so much potential— a wonderful person— who lowers herself to a life as a mere sexual object.  It’s another song that Augusta needs in constant rotation on the radio.  Cuz it happens.  More often than I like to acknowledge.  Be particular, young ladies…

Light Up featuring Bhen is a humorous track to me.  Reason being, because the instrumental sounds so much like the topic of discussion.  One synth rises like smoke while another synth comes in in disjointed giggles.  Speaking of which, I got a good laugh off of this line:

It might not help you with your education/

But it will get you to your destination/

…Word to ASU, lol.  The featured rapper on this track has a style that somewhat mimics the most recent incarnation of Andre 3000.  His delivery is pretty dope, turning simple-looking lines into something other than:

I…don’t f#ck with them Phillys, word to A.I./

B!tch I’m somewhere stuck up in the A–I–/

R…Super far from the land/

A super star, high as a shooting star, I’m the man/

On More Than A Memory, another featured artist, M.C. (that’s his actual name), makes an impressive appearance alongside John Bussie.  Where Bhen’s strength is in his delivery, M.C.’s strength is in his lyricism.  Peep this excerpt:

It’s more than a memory/

Rings in my head like a phone call/

Stick to my soul like the skin on me/

Or more like a melody/

Blowing from angelic horns/

Or sitting at a show, list’nin to the flow of Kenny G/

Exceptionally descriptive language from this cat; I imagine I’ll be reviewing one of his projects in the near future.  Paired up with Bussie on this track, M.C. helps to make this track one of the best presentations on Ipod Muzik 2.

For fear of being too wordy here, the last track of the mixtape I won’t get into. I will say that Rap Nigga gets its significance from the first Ipod Muzik:  if you don’t pay attention and get lost in the overzealous beats and loud deliveries, it’s easy to hear the Bussie’s mixtape and write Bussie off as the run-of-the-mill, annoying Augusta rap-actor.  But Bussie is not a ‘rap nigga’; he’s an MC and a storyteller.  And a graduate too, that’s important…

Now, I’m STILL itching for that Polos and Retros mixtape release scheduled for 2012.  But, after hearing Ipod Muzik 2… I can wait a lil bit longer.  This mixtape is well done, and much needed.  Augusta needs to diversify and produce quality work, and Ipod Muzik 2: I AM SCHOLAR exemplifies that.  Not that I’m telling anyone to bite this man’s style (because we DO have biters in Augusta), but it’s not a bad blueprint to observe.  You’ve got intelligent, experience-driven lyricism and thoughtful, meticulous production.  I can pop this mixtape in my player, blast it when I’m outta town, and be proud to tell somebody that I’m listening to John Bussie out of Augusta, GA.  I’m just mad I didn’t get to rep my city first, lol

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One response to “The Experienced Listener Presents: Ipod Muzik 2: I AM SCHOLAR, by John Bussie

  1. Pingback: The Experienced Listener Presents: Polos and Retros: The Maturation Process, by John Bussie | The Kool Kids Table·

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