With temperatures well above seventy degrees every day this week
, many are taking North Carolina's balmy weather as a sign that winter is gone. In my mind, it’s been over for a few weeks now—ever since the warm California breeze of Bobby James’s new track, “Lifted,”
made its way to the East Coast.
James, a Raleigh expatriate and Los Angeles resident, has been relatively quiet since his move west nearly two years ago. In the ten months prior to this release, his Soundcloud account went completely silent, something he even references in this song: “Imaginary Player since Bobby been in hiatus.”
Despite the time off, “Lifted” returns to the core elements of what made James an exciting up-and-comer during his days in North Carolina, with clever wordplay over a beat you can’t help but enjoy. The premise is simple: Bobby needs to show a woman a good time after becoming rather enthralled:“You all that in all caps, summertime fine/Tell them other niggas fall back, autumn what you call that." It’s safe to say that's better than any pickup line most of us have ever deployed.
The dalliance leads to hangouts laced with weed and liquor, though the festivities hit a bit of a speed bump with the chorus, due in part to a line about “party and bullshit.” Like many classic Biggie-isms, it already feels grossly overused.
By its very name, “Lifted" is particularly light on substance, anyway. It’s a summer song, even if it was released in February. Bobby is no stranger to headier material (just listen to his two previous songs, “BlackGod”
and “The Message”
), but in abandoning that message-oriented recipe, he created something any artist can envy: a song that’s just fun to hear. Now, the trick is maintaining that energy, particularly when the material gets deeper than an afternoon smoke sesh.