Bobby Shmurda • Shmurda She Wrote (EP) • Epic • US Release Date: November 10, 2014
Looking at the track list for Bobby Shmurda’s EP Shmurda She Wrote, one can’t help but to roll their eyes. Sure, it’s unfair to judge an album by its cover – in this case the songs – but it’s hard not to question the substance of the effort. The track list is as follows: “Worldwide N*gga,” “Hot N*gga,” “Bobby B*tch,” “Living Life,” and “Wipe the Case Away.” Only “Living Life” and possibly “Wipe The Case Away” sound the most promising.
But we all know that there is something special about Bobby Shmurda. Song number two “Hot N*gga” – better known as “Hot Boy” to the radio crowd – is infectious. Maybe it’s the malicious loop that backs Shmurda’s rhymes up, or maybe it’s his flow. Regardless, “Hot N*gga” definitely checks off the boxes as a winner. It’s not that may rap tracks in 2014 that can boast to be a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. “Hot N*gga” gets a pass, so what about everything else?
If nothing else, the production work of “Worldwide N*gga” is wicked – wicked ‘good’ that is. Sure, it’s nothing new – most mediocre rap records sport sick production – but the backdrop suits the tone that the rapper wishes to convey. A criticism would be that Shmurda is too reliant on the elephant in the room – the n-word. To each his own, but it does seem like Shmurda could expand in that department rather than thinking so small. That said “Hot N*gga” also shows Shmurda’s love of the word.
After his affinity for the n-word on “Worldwide N*gga” and “Hot N*gga,” Shmurda puts his sight on the overuse of the word ‘b*tch’ – charming. The first verse of “Bobby B*tch” is chocked full of repetitive use of the word, as is the hook, though Bobby cools it on the second. Not to isolate or criticize specific words by the MC, but given the small scope of the song, it’s hard to extract great depth from this track.
“Living Life” features Rowdy Rebel and keeps things edgy. If nothing else, Bobby is honest: “Let me tell you I’m conceited, b*tch, I don’t need it, b*tch.” While there is more repetitiveness about Bobby’s flow, there are some key lyrics with greater authenticity, such as “Shooting n*ggas in front of Keisha crib, right where Keisha live” or “I was selling white, homies ‘bout to cause some wreck tonight / ain’t no chick tonight, police looking for us left and right.” Arguably the best rhyme comes by way of Rowdy Rebel’s hook: “I told Bobby keep that pistol tight the way we living life.”
Expectedly, “Wipe That Case Away” is all about Shmurda’s legal issues: “I’m tried of motherf*cking lawyer fees / I’m tired of these motherf*cking court dates…” It’s not new territory – a number of rappers have been there and spit about it – but it also fits the script. Ty Real handles the hook, which includes lyrics, “They acting like they got the dime on me / motherf*ckers bluffing…I let my lawyer wipe that case away…” Irresponsible – yes, but at least Shmurda has straightened up from his past: “My momma glad a n*gga changed his way / I was in and out of drama each and every day / We was flipping selling hard at my mama place…”
Ultimately, Shmurda She Wrote will appeal to some and turn off others. Personally, it’s nothing truly new or fresh. Putting the EP at a further disadvantage is the fact that there’s little substance to keep things memorable. Honestly, this EP feels like its meant to whet the palate ahead of Shmuda’s full length album. Does it succeed? Eh, it’s so-so at most.
Favorite: “Hot N*gga”