Stanton Benjamin Cooley Jr., better known by his stage name BJ54321, is an American hip hop artist and music producer from Tampa, FL. He began rapping and writing his first bars at the age of seven. By 2014 he released his first mix tape and began making a huge impact on the radio stations in his home state. BJ5431 has gained a tremendous fan base in Florida and has opened up for major hip hop artist including Juvenile, Ace Hood, Rick Ross, Gun Play, Gucci Mane, Petey Gunz, and DMX. There’s no question that his 15 track project, “Ghetto Therapy” is a massive listen. It is one of those rare moments where you listen to an artist and tell yourself, this is what you’ve been waiting for. This is the type of music you’ve been wanting, from rap and hip-hop.
BJ54321, as an independent artist, having full control with this album made it possible to be uncompromising. One of the main follies of hefty releases is their tendency to be riddled with filler or being unable to convincingly stick to consistent performances. Those obstacles are not present here, as BJ54321 presents a set of incredible high energy appearances. It follows the thumps and aggression that dominates from the first track to the last.
Beyond that, BJ54321 delivers a work that is laser focused. Right from the opening title track, “Ghetto Therapy”, he goes hard, putting his foot to the pedal with incendiary, abrasive flows that never offer respite. The songs are never cryptic or overwhelmingly lyrical, but the rapper’s words are so potent that his confidence becomes infectious. Even on the slower “Going Hard”, BJ54321’s vocal delivery is devastingly powerful.
BJ54321’s ability to ride the insistence of the groove on “Grave Digger” is what causes his music to feel authentically grounded. It is also easy to feel equally engrossed in BJ54321’s world, on diverse songs like “Not The Same” and “Pillow Talk”. They’re so spellbinding that you cannot help but rock uncontrollably to the strong rhythmic beats. On top, BJ54321 unleashes his powerful testaments to take you on a journey.
The production throughout is superb, but it is BJ54321’s versatility that surprises and makes the album so special. On “My Life a Movie”, he introduces an ear-catching melodic element in his performance that was unexpected for me. BJ54321 is an aggressive, confident rapper, who’s looking to dominate the rap game with dynamic potency, yet he is still willing to variegate his deliveries from time to time, if he needs to.
However he is at his absolute best when he lets his energy and creativity run free, as he does on “Pull Up” and “Round and Round”. The album is a testament to BJ54321’s ability to develop interesting concepts and tell incredible stories, not to mention the sounds of the production too. “They Couldn’t Say” unfolds a beat thick with jazzy horns and broiling basslines, while “Always Change” showcases sweeping and inverting synth pads.
“Cant Tell Me” bangs with a bombastic vengeance, while in contrast, “Free Your Mind” flows in on a breezy harmonic beat. On the other hand, “Cold Summer” grabs its production aesthetic from futuristic sources, and is definitely an attention grabber. No doubt BJ54321 can stand toe and toe with some of his biggest peers in hip hop, in both the rapping and production departments.
“Stompem Out”, and the album closer, “We Paid”, deliver bars dedicated to showcasing BJ54321’s raw vocal prowess, and they succeed in every aspect. All-round “Ghetto Therapy” comes as a 15-track album, in which BJ54321 thoroughly mines his personal, and artistic, dichotomy.