Band: Boombox Saints
Album: The Boombox EP
Rating: 3 out of 5
By Aaron Binder
Ever since the Black-eyed Peas shot to stardom in the early 00’s, the realization that Filipino folks can rap has never been more apparent, apl.de.ap may not have been the breakaway star that Fergie turned out to be, but he definitely lent a load of cred to Filipino rappers. Boombox Saints bring to the table three Filipino rappers flowing in North American style, mixing it together with that Islander flavour and pumping out some big bass beats and surprisingly crisp rhymes.
The Boombox Saints are Huggy Fresh, Freeky P and Adlib, a trio of smooth-rhyming, hard-hitting and often goofy rappers. While they have done a good job of distancing themselves from the style of Filipino hip-hop, they are also adept at integrating it when necessary, their party track ‘Flip It’ is a booty-shaking homage to Filipino culture, yet manages to broaden its scope enough to allow anyone to understand the base meaning.
While the group has laid down a solid foundation, the style of the album tends to jump around from one song to the next, going from straight up smooth R&B to booty shaking club-bangers. If this were a full-length LP this wouldn’t be an issue, but the smaller scope EP loses its flow every other song by showcasing songs the two songs ‘Flip It’ and ‘We Don’t Care‘ (a B-side at best) in between their two strongest tracks ‘Star’ and ‘She Got’.
Aside from the flow issues, the group needs some obvious maturity to their catalogue. ‘We Don’t Care’ is an appropriately named track, there is very little redeeming about this song lyrically; production-wise it could be almost any song in the world, the beat and backing synth is bland and sounds like a generic battle-rap beat. Ouch, even I think that’s harsh.
Even with a couple of songs more bland than Air Supply, the album still shows strong when focusing on the slower, more thought out songs. The two singles are extremely well done and are what the band should be focusing on when it comes to their next releases and overall as songwriters. The Boombox Saints are a talented bunch with massive amounts of potential. Their personalities play off each other well and it will be great to see what they come out with next, if they can focus on what makes them great and cut the fat, I have no doubt that their star will be on the rise.
Since free music is usually a good thing, you can check out their video for ‘Flip It’ below. If you’ve ever had Filipino friends, this’ll be a riot.