Detroit rapper Boldy James is making a grand return to hip-hop. Following 2015’s Trapper’s Alley 2, James shares The Art of Rock Climbing, an EP detailing his street experiences and dedication to the Motor City. Eager to break his silence in 2017 after two years of laying low, the project will be followed by a mixtape in February, Boldy James’ most personal body of work yet. Debuted by XXL, The Art of Rock Climbing is a collaborative EP with DJ Butter and a nod to the trials and tribulations Boldy James went through during his quiet period away from music.
“The Art of Rock Climbing is about a few different things,” Boldy James explains. “The artwork has the four founding fathers of Detroit hip-hop as the heads of Mount Rushmore with me and DJ Butter scaling them. The art can be interpreted as showing how getting out of Detroit is akin to scaling a fucking mountain – don’t too many people make it out: they die, they go to jail. Another interpretation is a nod to my former rock slinging days. Another interpretation is that it’s about chasing dead presidents – that’s what we all after. That’s what we all about in the ghetto: it’s all about the money. Halfway through making The Art of Rock Climbing, I went away for a while. I was on the run for a year and got caught up for ‘fleeing and eluding’ for a weed violation I got in the suburbs and then everything got caught up to me, I had to deal with a bunch of warrants, probation violations and took a plea but still had to pay fines and be gone for a few months. Once I got out, DJ Butter and I finished it up and here it is.”
To accompany the EP release, Boldy drops the Lego-animated video for “Skantless” (watch below), which depicts a day in the rapper’s life as characters run drug deals and a heist from Seven Mile to Ford Field in downtown. “Skantless” has the Nas-cosigned, Mass Appeal Records signee getting down to business as he spits his flow over a funky beat from DJ Butter. Following “Heavy In the Game,” his first visual off The Art of Rock Climbing, Boldy James wants the world to know that he’s here to stay. The Art of Rock Climbing is available now – stay tuned for Boldy James’ upcoming mixtape, due in February.