You don’t “turn up” so much as you get older. You’re still lively, but going out, buying overpriced drinks, and listening to the same ol’ “oontz oontz” just isn’t that fun.
Or maybe you still love hip-hop, but you’ve got kids now, so you can’t blast Ol’ Dirty Bastard en route to Little League soccer. You need accessible music to which your children and partner can relate.
That’s the ethos of Bop Alloy, a collaborative side project for NoVa rapper Substantial and Seattle producer Marcus D. On its 2010 debut and subsequent remix album, Bop Alloy wanted you to relax, its late-night concepts a safe alternative for widespread listening. The group offers more variation on its new album, Another Day in the Life Of…, though it’s still adult contemporary with wind instruments and midtempo grooves.
But on “Step Into the Cipher,” Bop Alloy speeds the pace to a quick b-boy jam of rapid-fire rhymes. On “Writing My Wrongs,” the duo steps outside its usual aesthetic; powered by a Kendrick Lamar sample, the beat carries a methodical West Coast vibe on which Substantial delivers a nice double-time flow.
Singer Carolyn Malachi appears on the contemplative “Espelho” (Portuguese for “mirror”) and helps Substantial ruminate on self-worth and perceived deficiencies. For album closer “The Proposal,” the rapper unveils a saccharine love tale before it concludes with a marriage proposition. Grown-up stuff, ya know.
Listen to Another Day in the Life Of… below.