Harold Bingo raises hell, don’t give daps.
After a 2018 that saw Sada Baby dominating playlists without an actual album in stores, he’s wisely chosen to lead off the year with a legit retail project. He could have included the title track (and its A+ Peter Griffin joke) and you can quibble with some of the other Bartier Bounty song choices (no Rock With Us? no Phyllis Hyman?).
The combination of five 2018 favorites and 15 new bangers makes for an unrelenting listen….in the best way, of course. Now that I’ve had a few weeks to sit with the project, its easily one of my favorite rap albums in recent memory. 20 songs without filler and full of the type of punchlines that burrow into your aural cortex.
Instead of doing some long winded thing where I get deep into the weeds, think of this as a Twitter thread without the character limits. If you didn’t like the album or you hate fun, the X at the right hand corner is your friend.
1. “Hood Rich Skuba”
While Sada is not the first rapper to flip the JG Wentworth jingle into a great song (King Louie was the first, if memory serves), he’s the only one to use the same cadence to berate a drug addicted aunt. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Sada’s not what you would call introspective and he tends to hit on emotional truths without actually trying to do so. The Hoodrich Pablo Juan verse is serviceable but the song didn’t need him. The Mac Miller punchline is tasteless but since its followed by a Meek/Drake reference, I’m choosing to believe it was recorded before his passing.
2. “Bonnie & Blyde”
Full disclosure: “Peacock” was the first Sada Baby song to stick for me. He has a way with a love song and is able to transcend the boilerplate. Ashley Sorrell is his cousin and some may remember her hooks from the last Royce Da 5’9″ album. She sets the table for him to alternate between calling his AK “Lisa Leslie” (because of the long legs) and lamenting his love’s decision to drop out of school to cook dope with him.
Keeping with the melodic motif, Sada nails the hook and creates an earworm that will have newcomers wondering what a “lemon squeeze” is. His love for brutal punchlines makes him sound like a Wario version of 2 Chainz. He’s doing his homework on your hoe and knows what time she gets off work. He’s drinking lean on probation. He’s decapitating AND educating.
This is the first song that fits comfortably with the 2018 output. I’m just impressed that he still knows where his enemies live, even when they do not have a fixed home address. That’s the type of evil that makes him the modern day Boddicker (side note: there has to be a Detroit rapper with a “choppers like Boddicker” punchline). It doesn’t feel good to find out that he pays more for lean than I do for rent, though. He’s so casually dismissive of his opposition, he ends the song by saying “it ain’t likely” that they will even pull up on him.
5. “LLYG Mista”
This ode to his fallen friend YG Mista was out well before the album but it fits like a glove. The beat sounds like a slowed down version of Mobb Deep-Can’t Fuck Wit and “fuck a throwback Thursday” is one of the realest bars of recent memory. Stop living in the past, people. Whether he’s comparing his chopper to an iPhone or remarking on the women who “wanna eat my dreads”, this is a hard song to get out of your head. Still not tired of it all these months later.
6. “Aunty Melody”
This song sounds like the Detroit answer to Cam’ron’s “He Tried to Play Me” and is a prime example of Sada’s willingness to dig deeper than most realize. He doesn’t care who she’s been with in the past. He’s still there for her, even when times are hard. He’ll take her out for dinner. Of course, by song’s end, he’s back to having sex with her sister and cousin. I just hope he finds the love he deserves eventually.
7. “Skuba Says”
After letting his guard down for a minute, Sada comes back with one of the hardest songs in his entire catalog. “Perkys in her bootycrack/never in no man purse!” might win the day but shooting an RPG at Trump’s face is even better. His granny gave him whoopings but he still sips drank while he’s on the clock. Pretty good argument against corporal punishment, if you ask me.
8. “On Gang”
Speaking of letting your guard down, this song takes the listener on a emotional roller coaster. Sure, its a lot of fun to shout “chopper with the straps, bitch look like I’m parachuting”. However, “Pops made his money/didn’t make me none/Mama drunk her drank/beat me for her pain/now I drink my drank/make these hoes snort ‘caine” succinctly sums up generational trauma and the way that is passed down in a way few artists can touch.
9. “Pimp Named Drip Dat”
Boondocks fans will appreciate the title and this is the second Sada song to clear 10 million on YouTube. If he hadn’t included this one, a riot may have been necessary. It’s always fun to hear soda called “pop” and he strings together some of the most outlandish punchlines possible. Bill Cosby, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown and even Beyonce get name checked. It’s the type of song you rap along to, in spite of your better judgement.
The face scrunchers just keep on coming. He’s hanging out with his messy friends and he’ll get your slime left, just to get his slime right. Just because you show him love, that doesn’t mean that he is comfortable with you. The chopper will still get you off the bench, just like a veteran. The AR’s on your chest, no letterman. His gift for sports references that aren’t just “keep a .30 like Curry” or “come back with the .45 like MJ” is just…..*chef’s kiss*
“Dumbass” is where another of Sada’s obsessions starts to take focus. He’s decided that simply sleeping with the enemy’s wife isn’t enough. He wants to humiliate them even further. Hence the references to “taking shits on your toilet and playing with your kids”. Keeping with the awesome sports references, “Hit an opp with the ugly shot like I’m Lonzo” makes me wince as a Lakers fan every time I hear it and that’s probably why its so good.
The grower of the album, for me personally. At long last, we get a Pootie Tang bar (like he wasn’t going to use “Sada-tay” eventually) and there are more bars about how much your children love him than you. He’s in every girl’s house like a Fire Stick and some Ugg boots but your kids love him more than action figures or Barbie dolls. The hook also speaks deeply to all of the antisocial types out there.
13. “Lunch Room”
Sada’s got some more great advice. Don’t share your lean with someone who has a cold and play your own songs while spending money on your girl. I also love the fact that he speaks of his friend who is “aware of all apps” as if he were some high level computer hacker. This isn’t nearly as funny as him comparing his gun to “Halle Berry off B*A*P*S” or talking about how he can shoot from midrange “like DeRozan”. We stan a rapper who actually knows basketball.
14. “Skuba Dolph”
“I ain’t walkin in your home unless its a stove there” is the type of lyric that sounds like a boast to some but if you’ve ever actually lived in a neighborhood where the presence of a stove isn’t a given, it’s not nearly as funny as it sounds. He’ll still mess with girls who live with their mother, though, so our man is far from classist.
15. “Driple Double”
Again, Sada is here to provide potent advice to anyone who is actually paying attention. He’s not gonna drive if he’s high and he won’t even ride with you. He’s not going to to the club cause its time to hit the booth. If he had been in Paid In Full, he would have killed Uncle Ice. The most striking thing about Bartier Bounty is that there is always a method to the madness. He may sound like a lean/Perc crazed maniac but he always finds a way to weave sensible commentary into the mix. This was a pre album single that sounds exponentially better in the context of the project.
Sada is showing his NBA League Pass bonafides once again, by naming this track after one of the most unappreciated All-Stars in the league. Veterans gotta shoot, like Vince Carter. He’s happy Blake left the Clippers and I’m gonna need his takes on Wayne Ellington’s fit with the Pistons before too long. Sada deserves better than having to watch Reggie Jackson, though.
17. “Unkle Drew”
If you’re wondering how he managed to name back to back songs for Eastern Conference All-Stars, the lyrics provide a helpful explanation. He’s Kyrie, in the sense that he will leave the city after he’s done with your girl. Maybe he knows something we don’t about this summer’s free agency?
The Baby Boy reference is top notch and the Elvis slander is welcome. Sure, you can argue that Elvis sold a record or two but that’s clearly not what Sada is referring to. Compare the two from a stage control standpoint if you like but it ends there….his words, not mine.
18. “Money Bag Skuba”
The same man who once told us that he would eat the pussy like ginger snaps is now telling us that he’s going to eat it “ferociously”. Between that and the references to “slow mo” dick sucking, perhaps he’s got a future in pornography direction? The Dem Franchise Boyz interpolation is a nice touch, too.
19. “Bloxk Party”
What is there to say about this song that has not already been said? It is one of the best hookless rap songs of the decade. Drego’s opening bar sets the track off perfectly. The delivery of each line makes me relate to stuff that I shouldn’t. I never made it rain, owned a Moncler, asked a girl if she believed in my dreams like Corretta or flipped my auntie’s prescriptions. It is a testament to Sada and Drego, because they make all of these bars feel lived in and realistic.
20. “Cheat Code”
“Cheat Code” is a great song to play for anyone who tells you that Sada isn’t a talented rapper. The Dee Brown reference on the refrain might be a little too aged for some but that’s what YouTube is for. He’s serving dog but you would think he’s about to win a competition (cause its so well dressed). He’s got all his chains on, call him Skuba Mr. T. “Lucky all I threw was water up in Saginaw” is the type of specificity that makes his music stick in the brain.