My brother Thatfool Al is keeping the spirits alive in San Jose as he dropped his third LP, “Home Boy” on July 22nd, 2022. Al has been hyping this project up for 2 years with us covering 3 singles he had dropped throughout the albums production cycle. Now for those who haven’t seen a single article I’ve posted on Al he is a spoken poem/poetic rapper so he doesn’t rap like your normal MC but rather tells a story throughout each song in a slow paced way that builds into a beautiful climax. If you didn’t pick up the theme is inspired by the iconic Lil Homies toy line which were shown off in both his cover & music videos. Clocking in at 30 minutes with 12 brilliant tracks produced by Sean Bautista aka somn.ok with Alex DeYoung mastering them; I have nothing else to really say other then that it is time to go to the block party and make a plate; this is “Home Boy” by Thatfool Al.
We start off with “March” which sees Thatfool Al laying the seeds to root a beautiful song about life, love and positive energy as a young man tries to show how the world is wide open for anyone who wants to take it. I covered this single previously which was also the first piece dropped for “Home Boy” where I really felt that it was wonderful rapped. The production also flows smooth like a smoothie. “No Trade Backs” follows suit where Al speaks on how a person needs to help themselves while slowly giving back when they can but not allowing someone to play them when they don’t like the deal given. Life is a bitch and we all get dealt different hands due to many things but this song is a bridge of that concept to how a person can also stride for a better life. Production once again is dope with a nice melody that keeps the song flowing. “Class of 2020” is a break in the action where we celebrate our new generation by Thatfool Al saying “the youth is the truth” while saying how this class will make a change. Back into the shootout with “Evolver” which speaks about the issues in society from racial inequality too queens being treated poorly with a deeper dive of knowledge & game given in every bar. Love this track along with the nod to my homie Tank Shit for the music video. Production is very harmonic, I felt like this had a very good tie to old school lowrider tracks while keeping a splash of modern sound into the mix. “Vinyasa Flow” was another song we had covered before where we stated that the song “just proves why my man Al is one of the best hidden in SJ.” It continues the knowledge packed conscious bars while Thatfool Al flexes his tongue as he cuts through the track with his sharp penmanship. As you will pick up the production does not miss with every track having the beat tailored to Al and his theme perfectly! “Lil Wins” is the sixth track on the LP but also the final one we covered before its release. It serves as a motivational piece of poetry where Thatfool Al explains how the little things we can do everyday is a win when some people like myself may take that security of going home after work or waking up to walk into my kitchen for granite. “Lil Wins” is a beautiful song about how we need to stop trying to hold ourselves to such high standards but rather just pat ourselves on the back for the small victories to keep our spirit high, ego contained but most importantly the feeling of self-love strong. Production does take a back seat as Thatfool Al is centerstage speaking to every listener which is great as it provides us the power of his voice, his message to focus on the deeper meaning of the track.
“Team” picks up at the halfway mark of the LP where Thatfool Al shows love to everyone in the crew who has helped him get to this point in his music journey. He continues the love by explaining how you can also show love back to the team by letting them take a bench roll to carry the heavy load, like that one smart homie who does the group science project and lets you sign your name cause ya’ll boys. Really nice beat as well that brings a lofi sound while also mixing in some smooth soul. “Pop” is another moment on the album where Al just fleshes out his rapping abilities as he drops bars about his portfolio while telling you he isn’t afraid to bend some rules to crack some heads. I really like the line “to be honest, nah to be iconic” as sometimes you may need to drop some white lies to hit that next level like some of your favorite so called “gangsta rappers” will do. Beat was dope, really flowed well with a weird but dope sample that reminded me of something you’d hear in little China town. “Bubb” is a straight beat no bars so we got to appreciate that fire production from somn.ok. I really dig the sound which has lofi blending with that G-Funk sound to make a funky creation! “Ms. Rose” comes through to bring a romantic touch onto the track as Al speaks on that perfectly picked flower of a woman that you wanna save between a page that has your stomach feeling twisted by butterflies. I really like how he shows the dynamic changes one can make when getting into the motions of maturing for a relationship as I have myself for the woman I love. Production has a slow, sad boy feel mixed with some bass, snares and drums to keep it flowing. “Ebb Flow” is a emergency call from Thatfool Al to get your attention as he drops bars about leveling up yourself by not giving attention to the BS that fogs your vision; find the light and guide yourself to the rainbow that is hidden through the rain. I really like the beat that really reminded me of Mac Miller for the drums and snares, something about this beat really just hit a note to me. We conclude the album with “Multiply” which has Al just straight rapping facts about equality as he breaks down how no one person is immune. I really think this was a wonderful track that summarizes who Thatfool Al is as an artist with a well spoken, poetic flow that doesn’t take away from his rapping capabilities. Cherry on top is this funky as beat that really tied the whole song together, just a special sound that finished out a fantastic project.
Overall this is one of the best underground projects I have listened to personal and the year isn’t over so we may get more from Thatfool Al. I think his lyrics are inspiring as well as creative with a focus to bring more culture back into the underground scene while also speaking on positive, enlightening topics to help educate our generation and to make fans out of some older heads. Production did not break a sweat as we had beat after beat with nothing but straight heat that had me standing in front of my fan to escape the humidity. My top 3 tracks have to be “Lil Wins”, “Evolver” and it does cheat since it is only a beat but “Bubb.” I really liked the story of “Lil Wins” which showcased Al’s poetic side heavily while “Evolver” put his rapping abilities on full display with him not missing a cue. “Bubb” is a beat I wish I had some bars for but I think it goes without showing that if a beat under 2 minutes long can be a top 3 song on a project then production is doing their job right! All I can say is I look forward to the next drop from Al, as always I am The Musical Hippie and these are my thoughts on “Home Boy” by Thatfool Al.