By: Shamus Hill
The day is finally here. Following several years of individual releases, and several months of posse cut singles -- Van Buren Records has finally released a full-length collaborative album that is entirely composed of their artists. Luke Bar$, SAINT LYOR, Lord Felix, Jiles, Meech, Andrew Regis, Ricky Felix, and the rest of the team are putting Brockton on the map today, as Bad For Press makes its way into headphones across the Globe.
VB has been teasing this project for the last month, and since its release earlier today, the Massachusetts music scene has been completely enveloped by this album. If you're a creative in MA, or even just a general supporter of the local music scene here, then you've certainly heard of Van Buren Records up through this point in time. If this is your first time hearing about the group, then it's time to step out from underneath the rock you live under and experience one of the most refreshing collectives of artists in music right now.
Each of their individual releases have blown me away over the years, so it's only right that I was filled with excitement for Bad For Press' release. Once the clock struck midnight this morning, I immediately gave this project a spin. I eagerly awaited how these high-caliber artists were going to mesh their styles on a full-length release, something that I know requires a great deal of communication and comfortability. As each track passed, it was as though the energy of the song would be dictated by the first artist to be featured, then would be reciprocated by each of the following artists in their own unique way. Each song feels like a relay race, and as the baton passes to the next individual, Van Buren widens their lead ahead of many others in Rap right now.
Some of my standout tracks on Bad For Press were "Girls Wanna Have Fun", "Looking For Trouble", and "Nevermind". On each of these songs, the artists on Van Buren's roster showcased their distinctive artistic capabilities, and just how much they have developed with time. Luke Bar$ and SAINT LYOR in particular were two artists on this project that really showcased what their discographies have in-store, and to say that I am excited for what they have coming next would be a severe understatement. Additionally, Andrew Regis deserves recognition for stepping into the arena alongside his VB teammates and holding his own. I'm hopeful that we'll be hearing many more verses from him in the future.
Brockton is one of the most special places that exists in Massachusetts, and the fact that the city has Van Buren Records to further the area's historic legacy is something that brings a tear to my eye. This team of young men are on pace to accomplish some amazing feats, and the fact that they represent Massachusetts along the way is something that everyone in the Bay State needs to celebrate.