BUDDY RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM HARLAN & ALONDRA VIA COOL LIL COMPANY / RCA RECORDS
CURRENTLY ON MAD MAN TOUR WITH A$AP FERG
SHARES NEW VIDEO “TROUBLE ON CENTRAL”
What the press is saying about Buddy:
“Buddy’s knack for filling up empty space in bursts like this shows he can more than carry a song all his own.” – Pitchfork
“With penmanship as sharp as they come, the EP has a summery, soulful vibe and a focus on blurring the grey area between rapping and singing.” – The Fader
“It’s time for Buddy to shine. Get familiar.” – XXL
“If you haven’t heard of Buddy, you’re slippin” – HotNewHipHop
WATCH: “Trouble on Central” –
STREAM: Harlan & Alondra –
Today, Compton born and bred rapper Buddy is releasing his debut album. Harlan & Alondra arrives today via Buddy’s own Cool Lil Company / RCA Records and includes critically-acclaimed singles “Black” feat. A$AP Ferg, “Trouble on Central”, “Hey Up There”, and “Trippin” feat. Khalid. The album brings listeners along for the ride as Buddy explores who he is amongst the glitz, glamor and grit of his beloved Los Angeles. Harlan & Alondra firmly plants Buddy’s flag in the LA soil, with an album rooted in his struggles, triumphs and his own family, evident by the family portrait that serves as the album’s cover art.
In addition to the album, Buddy is sharing a visual for “Trouble on Central”, which sees Buddy just trying to escape the temptations of being stuck in his neighborhood. The visual comes in the midst of a run of tour dates alongside A$AP Ferg that will conclude with Buddy playing at Chicago’s Lollapalooza Festival on August 3-5.
Hear Harlan & Alondra above, see below for tour routing and more about Buddy.
By the time Buddy was old enough to drive, he’d already been thrust into hip-hop’s fast lane. A rising rapper from Compton, California, he was discovered by Scott Vener, signed by Pharrell, and tapped for collaborations with Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. It was the kind of breakthrough most new artists dream of, but Buddy found himself restless, eager to get to work realizing his own artistic vision. In 2016, after years of industry groundwork, he summoned the courage to go his own way.
Harlan & Alondra, his highly-anticipated debut album, is both a declaration of independence and a vivid reintroduction. It’s Buddy, invigorated, in his element, and on his own terms.
Born Simmie Sims III, he grew up in churches where his father, a preacher, choir director and a recovering addict, introduced him to the uplifting power of gospel and soul. As he soaked up the sounds neighboring communities–from Compton to Long Beach, where he attended performing arts school–he observed the many interpretations of “the L.A. sound.” “I had friends in the ghetto and friends in the hills, and bounced around from school to school, so I watched all the phases–jerk music, ratchet era, gangbanger,” he says. “But they were very specific. I wanted to do something a little different.” The Los Angeles he sought to capture was bouncier and brighter, a colorful blend of jam-heavy funk, retro R&B, and chilled-out rap, strung together by his infectious optimism. “I wanted my music to sound like the sun,” he says.
In November 2016, he released “Shine,” a laid-back, West Coast earworm produced by Mike & Keys that showcases his vocal dexterity and unmistakably sunny demeanor. The following summer, Sims released Ocean & Montana, a joint EP with Kaytranada named after the Santa Monica intersection where he had his first apartment. “It was the first time I felt truly independent,” he says. Follow-up Magnolia, released that August, offered earnest reflections on coming of age in Compton with guest turns from Wiz Khalifa and Boogie. Energized and on a roll, he moved across town once more, where he got to work on his first official full-length. Out July 20 on Cool Lil Company / RCA, Harlan & Alondra is both a nod to Sims’ childhood home and a wide-angle tribute to L.A. “It’s beautiful day music,” he says. “Not just for the hood or the strip club, but for the beach, the freeway, the hills, downtown. I wanted to paint a well-rounded portrait of my home city.”
Shaped by Sims’ core studio crew of fellow native Angelenos, the album blends gospel-inflected revelations, tuneful melodies, and throwback-soul grooves. Family is an important theme, evidenced firstly in the cover art, a stylish and retro family photo taken in front of Sims’ childhood home. His nephew appears on a wide-eyed love song about fate and companionship, and on another track Sims reflects on finally getting to experience success on his own terms: “Ain’t no maybes and no probablys/I gotta be myself, that’s what it has to be/I’m happily, gladly, gradually, changing reality for my family, they proud of me.”
The package isn’t devoid of darkness– several tracks work out the stress behind family bills and court dates, and “Black,” a dizzying collaboration with A$AP Ferg, celebrates blackness in the face of oppression–but like a powerful sermon, even the heaviest moments seem positioned to uplift. His own resolution is best captured on the “Hey Up There,” a gentle letter to God featuring Ty Dolla $ign, in which Sims sings about life, death, and success with astonishing vocal clarity. “Death is inevitable, so life for me is about getting as high as you can,” Sims says. “I’m coming for my place among the successful. I’m blessed to have music as an outlet to express myself.”
Harlan & Alondra
Cool Lil Company / RCA Records
- Real Life Sh*t
- Shameless feat. Guapdad 4000
- Black feat. A$AP Ferg
- Hey Up There feat. Ty Dolla $ign
- Trouble On Central
- The Blue feat. Snoop Dogg
- Trippin’ feat. Khalid
- Find Me 2