Someone really hurt A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. When he’s not sing-rapping about his jewelry and adolescent thuggery, the 23-year-old rapper comes off like a young man scorned. His latest release, December’s Hoodie SZN, is a marathon listen that runs 20 songs deep. There are moments of brilliance and introspection— “4 Min Convo (Favorite Song)” being the sobering standout—but it’s hard to ignore his tribulations of love.
The album opens with “Voices in My Head,” setting the tone with the line, “All she ever wanted was my heart to hurt.” A few bars later, he adds, “If I think she thottin’, I’m gon’ do it first/I’m gon’ call my side b*tch, and we gon’ do the work.” Distrust in relationships has long been a theme in Boogie’s young career (on “Timeless,” from 2016’s TBA EP, he savagely digs, “If I ever said ‘I love you,’ I was lyin’”).
It’s harsh, but relatable. And the numbers back it up. In January, Hoodie SZN hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with a unique distinction: According to The New York Times, it set the record for the No. 1 album with the fewest units sold—823—a figure bolstered by a whopping 83 million streams, the equivalent of 58,000 sales.
Boogie’s music may not be flying off shelves—whose is?—but it’s clearly resonating with listeners. Listeners who are cautiously guarding their hearts.
A BOOGIE WIT DA HOODIE March 28, 7 p.m., $30-$40. House of Blues, 702-632-7600.