Artist: Goldini Bagwell (of Sandpeople)

Album: Chainsmoke

Source: Itunes


01. Intro (Unfiltered)
02. Bagwell
03. Lets Grow
04. Tenure (Feat. Iame)
05. Wmn Vs. Wrk
06. More Than High (feat. OnlyOne & Illmaculate)
07. Chainsmoke
08. Speed of Life
09. Words to Live By
10. For Nothing (feat. Reva Devito)
11. No Sucka Revisited (feat. Epp, Destro Destructo & Illmaculate)
12. Prelude to AU (Aye You)
13. Outro (Exhale)
14. Bagwell (DaiN Remix)


In preparation for the end of the year accolades posts, this will probably be my last album review…probably.  And because I am reviewing Mr. Bagwell’s, Chainsmoke, you know it has to be good or else I wouldn’t waste my breath on it.  Not only, is it good,  it’s outstanding.

I looked into this album on the strength of his affiliation with the Sandpeople.  That outfit consistently puts out dope music.   Chainsmoke is no different, but along with being dope, I wil go so far as to say this is the best Sandpeople release of 2011.  I know those are strong words indeed but let me make my case:

Goldini Bagwell has a really unique flow.  His rhyme schemes are so intertwined that you are often on your toes and trying to catch what he is saying.  The other side of the coin is that relatively unknown producer, Pmpee, from Finland, produced the hell out of this album!  This is one the more refined albums from a production standpoint that I have heard all year.

The album’s lead single, Bagwell, is an introduction to the ‘international man of mystery’.  The track’s intent is to let listeners hear for themselves that this persona is indeed his own.  Pmpee lends an orchestral feel  with strings, piano, and  then brings in some bass and drums to make the soundscape complete.  The track has an eerie yet mysterious vibe to it.  It as if Bagwell at points almost whispers his lyrics to you as if he is revealing to you the secrets of his persona through a show of sorts.  It’s generally hard to hone in on lyrics, but here’s a few bars:

…As I observe the alluring aftershock / I’m thinking a picture last longer, go ahead and snap the shot / Welcome to Operation Turn Your Swagger Off / Anything less is just an after thought /  All of the above just has to stop / I want ones, I don’t care if you’re strapped or not…

Wmn vs. Wrk is my undisputed favorite of the album.  Pmpee laces a soulful, yet head-nodding beat and Goldini Bagwell goes in on a subject that many of us are all to familiar with.  The decision to be made is your woman or your job?  How do they co-exist?  He addresses this question in the freshest way possible.   The first discusses the friction between woman and work. The second verse addresses his love for the music and how much he enjoys what he does.  His third verse narrates how much he needs his woman to “make this house a home” and to help him accomplish his goals.  If you had to choose, what would you do?

The cut, For Nothing, starts off feeling like Pmpee sent a Barbershop Quartet into your headphones, but our producers manipulates that sample and uses it as a backdrop to the synth bass and drums.  You also get the sultry vocals on the from Reva Devito that balance out the complex wordplay.  There’s something that Bagwell says within his verses of this song that really holds true:  Me and these words are dynamic.  Dynamic is an excellent way to describe his flow.  It never holds the same rhyme scheme and cadence.  His wordplay and thought process keep engaging the listener, as if to say “You need to keep up.”  Again…dynamic.

Hip Hop music has become so predictable.  People are rocking over each other’s beats to kill time and creativity.  Goldini Bagwell’s and Pmpee’s Chainsmoke offers you a dope alternative and breath of fresh air from the monotony of it all.  Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on this album!

4 thoughts on “Goldini Bagwell – Chainsmoke (2011)

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