Published Jan 27, 2017The first thing that strikes you about The Art of Rock Climbing is Boldy James' delivery — "Lazy in a good way" is the best way to describe it. His airy, slow flow still manages to be complex and lyrical, though. He doesn't skimp on the smart metaphors and razor-sharp lines; he just doesn't need to jam a million words in a bar to get there.
The production tends towards creeping, ominous chord progressions and sharp, hard percussion. "Skantless," with its '80s-flavoured 808s and G-funk-esque bass line, is the best example of this, and the best track here.
The Art of Rock Climbing is straight-ahead, well-executed drug-rap in a 26-minute package that's short enough to leave you wanting more. There are some soaring highs — the aforementioned "Skantless," the lead-off "Liquid to a Solid" — and no real lows. So while there's nothing that completely blows minds, there are no obvious faults, either. It's hard to ask for much more from a mixtape. (Mass Appeal)