This is the sophomore full-length album from Las Vegas producer, rapper & fashion designer Shaggytheairhead. Catching my attention after producing one of my all-time favorite Ouija Macc songs “Nardwuar Glocc” back in 2018, he would back that up with 4 EPs before becoming an in-house producer for Chapter 17 Records & Psychopathic Records alongside his Mythic Mindz cohort Devereaux. Shaggy would drop his last album Wakin’ Up during the 21st annual Gathering of the Juggalos, which was the only Gathering I’ve ever been to & a weekend that I’ll never forget. As far as the actual music on Wakin’ Up, it’s my favorite of his thus far because of how much he improved his lyricism & that he dabbled with a wide range of sounds to show his influences. Following the Gathering of Dreams last summer however, he dropped a producer album called Grin to the Grave featuring a wide range of artists rapping over his production from Ouija to King Iso, Project Pat, Sir Michael Rocks & even Matt Ox. But to honor the 49th birthday of J Dilla & Nujabes, Shaggy’s returning in the form of Coffee.
After the “Shaggythelegend 3” skit, “Abyss” comes through with a trap opener calling for all the savages in this bitch prior to Trade Voorhees tags along for “Ima Make It” to talk about getting off your ass & doing something productive today working in some synths & hi-hats alongside a chopped & screwed inspired hook. “Need a Friend” hooks together a syrupy sample à la Three 6 Mafia to seek true friendship just before “Force Fed” dives into boom bap turf speaking to those who be feeling like they’re being imposed upon.
Trade returns on “Grind Everyday” keeping it in the basement encouraging to hustle until “Gotta Ask” continues with some kicks & snares put together with these spacious synth chords curious to know why he got done dirty. Darby O’Trill comes into the picture for the shrilling “Raygun” to bust shots at the zombies & encouraging those who have a problem with him to say something to them about it, but then the YungFiend verse on “Furnace” is probably the weakest feature on the album with all respect even though the atmospheric approach is nice & the themes of proving others how hot they be artistically.
The song “When Will They Learn?” eerily claps back at shit-talkers while “Witch” serves as the official closer to the album as he describes paranormally seeing a woman in the corner of every room that he enters with a dusty boom bap beat yet the “bonus cut” title track is the true finale to the album with it’s minimal yet bluesy instrumental accompanied by the heartfelt lyrics that look back on being down in his luck to eventually hanging with his idols & pursuing his dream in a music career.
Wakin’ Up was a great debut for Shaggy & a year & a half later with Coffee as the official follow-up, it was well worth it in my opinion. His production is continuing to evolve & the feature-list is much smaller than it was on the last album although they manage to do a fine job at bringing their own unique styles to the table. Now that he’s woken up & had his coffee, where do we go from here a year & a half from now? I’m curious to know.