With recent production including some of the biggest songs on the current rap landscape \like Drake’s ‘Free Smoke’ and Playboy Carti’s ‘Magnolia’ (as well as the lion’s share of the rest of the production on Carti’s self-titled debut mixtape and a lot of work with Young Nudy one of the really underrated artists right now), I decided it was time to find out more and delve into his extensive ‘back catalogue’ on Soundcloud. I found out that not only does this Queens native have a ridiculous amount of material, but that in addition to producing he also raps and is actually pretty good at it.
One track that really stood out to me was ‘Harry Potter’ from his ‘Life of Pi’erre 2’ playlist from a few months ago. No mention of Dumbledore or Muggles here, just a certain crude innuendo relating back to magic wands in the chorus, so sorry Gryffindoor fans. But while there’s no mention of magic, the beat itself is pretty enchanted. To me it somehow evokes the feeling of passing through the outer boroughs into the city in the 80s or 90s late at night for some sort of mission of debauchery and watching the city skyline unfold in front of you all lit up.
Beyond the incredible beat I also love how you can really feel Bourne’s affection for his hometown of Jamaica (Queens) in the first verse, “I miss my niggas on my block. Dodging 12 don’t get shot. My grandma stay where Sean Bell died. My grandma stayed where hip hop rise. Rochdale across the street, go to (???) and get something to eat. At the laundromat get all the gas, smoking dope out on the ave… hop a train now we in the city”. He’s now one of the top producers in the game but you get the sense he still loves and misses his neighborhood, and still feels at home there despite some of its warts.
For those of you from outside the NYC area who are not familiar with Jamaica, it’s a unique neighborhood in Queens that’s home to Donald Trump’s childhood home and plenty of beautiful million dollar homes in the ‘Jamaica Estates’ section but also the infamous ’40s houses’ housing projects, one of the most violent projects in the city, in South Jamaica. With over 200,000 residents counting all the different neighborhoods that arguably make up the greater Jamaica area, it’s an absolutely massive neighborhood, bigger than many actual cities elsewhere in the U.S. I’m always a sucker for when artists reference specific places/people/events in their hometown because I find it intriguing, and perhaps I liked this one even better since it’s an area that I’m quite familiar with. As someone who has bought Timbs at the famous GB’s at the Rochdale shopping center and taken the train from Jamaica into the city many times I personally loved this verse and I have to say Pi’erre couldn’t have paid a better homage to his hood.