In the age of collectives (OFWGKTA, A$AP Mob, Pro.Era, 2008ighties), DIEMON deserves your attention-all of it. Standing for Do It Everyday Music Or Nothing, DIEMON is composed of emcees, producers, photographers, DJs, directors, and graphic designers. They hail from the Atlanta area and music-wise, they’re on a roll. One of the group’s latest freeleases, by producer and emcee, Bugus (pronounced Boogus), features a few of his fellow DIEMON artists and is a well rounded project covering a lot of ground for a 20 year old.
First thing’s first, Bugus rhymes with a mature flow that seems to exceed his age. It’s a mix of Nas, Big Daddy Kane, and Andre 3000. He has a knack for stringing together bars of quick rhymes in succession that make your head nod. Oh, and the production from the DIEMON crew only makes your head go back and forth even further. My favorite example of his rapid fire flow-”Mama se mama sa mama, save the facade/Make ya bra pop and drop jaws for the cars”-comes on “Bombs Over Babylon.” And the words behind his flow only add even more depth to the emcee.
The biblical imagery he describes on a private jet on the third verse of “Free Style” not only gives you a wild scene Aesop Rock would admire, but also puts you right in the temperamental state of mind Bugus was in when he wrote those lines. Then on “Notorious,” the extended metaphor of Bugus breaking and entering the “house” of Hip Hop demonstrates the determination to make it to the top from the basement in his house.
When he isn’t rapping about getting crossfaded at house parties (“Party in the Hillz”) or warning halfway crooks not to step on his turf* (“Writer’s Block”) Bugus digs deep into his past and spills his guts for the listener. Bugus dedicates “Heaven for a G” to his uncle who passed away, but not in vain. He wants to immortalize his uncle’s spirit with the track as he’s “on the phone with the Devil/God texting me my blessings.” And he admits that while he’s ok with crying, don’t assume you know his whole story: “None of ya’ll can feel me/You’ll never know the real me/I tried to stay clean but now it’s time to get filthy.” So while he tried to lead a straightedge life, now he’s bringing up dirt on himself to reach out and connect with his fans.
And he does so, bravely, on “Us Against the World.” The chorus, “You about to know the real me,” speaks on Russ’ and Bugus’ stories and the importance of them in their lives. While Russ flashbacks to his childhood dreams of becoming a great rapper, Bugus shares the pain and joy from his two brothers. While one had legal and relationship problems, the other was a father figure, inspiring and motivating Bugus.
I disagree with Bugus on one point. He’s at the top of the game in his mind, looking down on everyone else. But I think he has nowhere to go but up. He’s leaps and bounds ahead of emcees around his age, and older, but I can definitely see some improvement towards more advanced rhyme schemes and unique word choice to really set himself apart from anyone else. There are so many clever punchlines throughout the mixtape (“I feed-L’s like Castro” on “Jibberish”) and I’m looking forward to see what else Bugus can throttle out of the English vernacular.
*Ironically, he raps over Game’s “How We Do” to make his point. Not only does he do the beat justice, he arguably exceeds 50 Cent’s and Game’s lyrical viciousness.
Bombs Over Babylon – Bugus
Free Style – Bugus ft. John Anthony
Us Against the World – Bugus ft. Russ
4 / 5 bars