Solomon Vaughn, aka Boonie Mayfield, aka Boon Doc, hails from Colorado, USA and rose to internet stardom by performing live Hip Hop beats on his MPC 1000 and sharing the performances on Youtube before doing so became a thing. After being robbed of almost all of his equipment Boonie Mayfield managed to re-emerge as a multi-instrumentalist who no longer depended on sampled material, creating his own music instead. Something many of his old fans did not appreciate. But Boon stuck to his newfound guns and started rebuilding his reputation as an original producer and performer.
All of this culminated into ‘Boonie Mayfield Presents: Solomon Vaughn’ – a self-produced, 17-track genre-bending, progressive hip-hop album. I come to this album as one who knows nothing of Boonie Mayfield. However, based on his work on this album it is clear that he is an incredibly talented and versatile artist, and each subsequent song lodging on this album, is simply further evidence of that fact.
Unlike many of his more popular peers, ‘Boonie Mayfield Presents: Solomon Vaughn’ is not simply a vehicle for a few hot singles with some filler in between. This is a real “record” in that ‘old school’ sense of the word – a collection of carefully crafted songs that go well together and are meant to be experienced in order, one after another. This is the kind of recording that would sound best on a Discman with some big old headphones while you’re sitting in your room alone, with the lights turned down, and ready to ponder on the intricacies of existence.
Boonie Mayfield is an artist that flies high above the anchors of musical genre and this album is no exception. This is not really just a rap album or a hip-hop album or a soul album or a pop album or a rock album, it’s simply a Boonie Mayfield album. And it’s something of a concept album, centered on Solomon Vaughn’s experimentation, inspiration, nostalgia, honesty, love, relationships, social commentary, humor and self-reflection, all set out like a theatrical event.
While there are rhymes and beats to please even the most primitive music fans, this is essentially rap-infused, art-flavored hip-hop for smart people, and as such it succeeds beautifully. It is something so seemingly simple, and yet complex and deep at the same time. One of those musical experiences you’ll end up thinking about later after you’ve put the album away to go to sleep.
‘Boonie Mayfield Presents: Solomon Vaughn’ allows the hip-hop genre to take a break from its obsession with posturing, delivering ideas that live up to its cultural roots. It’s no secret that Hip-hop has ultimately tended – with several major exceptions – to be a ‘singles’ medium; meaning that individual ‘one-hit’ songs take precedent over meaningful albums. In the past Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, OutKast and even Jay Z, to a certain extent, have looked to change this. Boonie Mayfield walks the same honorable root!
In fact, after a few listens I gave up on wanting to point out songs, look for ‘standout tracks’ or choose the ‘pick of the bunch’, as this kind of listening attitude just detracts from ‘Boonie Mayfield Presents: Solomon Vaughn’, which should be experienced and enjoyed as a full album, from front to back, if you are to completely savor the lyrical skills, the easy going flow and the production creativity delivered by Solomon Vaughn, aka Boonie Mayfield, aka Boon Doc.