Album Review | Defcee & BoatHouse – For All Debts Public & Private

This album was released on April 19th this year. Defcee is one of my favorite rappers right now, and every project I’ve ever heard from him has been really good. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single song by him that I haven’t enjoyed. I think he’s one of the best writers in the game, so I look forward to everything he does. On the other hand, I’m actually not really familiar with BoatHouse’s production. I mean, he produced a Lucki song that I’ve heard, but aside from that I don’t think I’ve heard any of his other work. I really loved that one beat from that Lucki song though. I heard a couple singles from this album before checking it out, and they were fire, so I think I’m gonna love this project. Again, Defcee is one of my favorite rappers right now, so I’m expecting this to be one of the best albums of the year.

The album begins with an intro entitled Even. I really like the melodic, drumless production here from BoatHouse, and Defcee of course killed the verse. I don’t know what it is about the way he raps, but he just always sounds so good. I think the main reason I like his rapping so much is just because he enunciates his words really well, and he has a perfect voice for rapping. His flow is really nice on this track too.

I don’t wade into what’s deeper than rap
So let’s keep this surface level, and leave it at that
White bankers and politicians were dressing evil in maps
They seeded the math, and still wanna feed us the sap
So beef is a trap, you see the leeches it competes to attract
Nothin' stylish or academic 'bout 'em, just a geek in a hat
Buzzards diggin' beaks into rats, feastin' 'til fat
Eatin' what the piggies won’t, and then leave 'em the scraps
All our credit they rejected, we’ll be needing it back
It took fever dreams in quarantine for me to relax
Any light I get, I’m throwin' at your feet 'til it’s matched
Let’s clear the books, break even, and stack

I liked this song on my first listen of the album, but now I love it. The song’s really short since it’s just an intro, but the polished production and rapping are too good for me to not be impressed. This shit is dope as hell. Track 2 was released as a single ahead of the album’s release, and it’s called Ragnarok.

I really dig the relatively hard-hitting production on this track, and the first verse from Defcee is great. However, I was actually more impressed by the second verse from Kipp Stone, with whom I was unfamiliar before hearing this song.

I pull from a dark place in the brain
I feel like Dufresne, first time in the rain
Birdbox when we aim, pulling art from the pain
When you start from where you came
Condemned homes and EBT pin codes
Cancerous vision with lymph nodes
Big stone, 66689, the big homie
Devil at the disco now, you cooking with crisco
Look, I’m on my tip toes reaching, nigga, I’m this close
Switching like Nintendo, triple entendre, sixfold

I’m gonna have to keep an eye out for future work from him because he really impressed me here. The song is dope. Track 3 is called Recollect, and it was the first song that stood out to me as a highlight on my first listen of the album. The beat is pretty good, and Defcee killed the first verse. I love that opening line about people who can’t tell the difference between cancellation and consequences. I also liked this line a lot…

Their art isn’t as sharp as their drama is entertainin'

This song’s got a pretty good hook, and the second verse is fantastic as well. I appreciate the tried and true structure of this song; it’s just two verses divided by a good hook. I have no gripes with this one. The song is dope as hell. It’s followed by another highlight entitled Dunk Contest, which was released as the second single ahead of the album’s release if I’m not mistaken.

I love the kind of ominous production from BoatHouse on this track, and Defcee’s pen is of course as sharp as ever here.

If it isn’t gonna change my life I can turn it down
Still harvest fields of cornballs into kernel mounds
Any chicken they gettin' is colonel-style Kentucky shit
While they’re talking tougher than cuttin' bricks with an oven mitt
Finally got Back to the Future generator buzz
Had my first daughter, and let the industry raise my sons
Public enemies see truth in this music, it weighs a ton
Bodybag over the mic, and caution tape on the drums

This song’s got a pretty good hook too. I think the second verse is even better than the first one. He was rhyming really well here.

Swim in algorithms, rippin' digits from the circuitry
The nerve of me, glitches evaded the fixes perfectly
Seventh century surgery clean, dirty fatigues
Thirsting for dreams that were turning Biggie’s furniture green
It was all a scam, blades shredding chain mail
'Til the face mask’s splinterin' and not a single plate of armor stands
Underground redefinition, videos in dollar vans
Listen to their music, hit the “I am not the father” dance

I love the closing line of the verse too. It’s fire. The main appeal of this song for me is just the rapping from Defcee, but the hook and beat are good too. I think this is one of the better songs on the album. It’s dope as hell. It’s followed by a major highlight entitled Rossi, which features Armand Hammer. I’m just gonna say it now; this is my favorite song on the album. I love the production from BoatHouse, and Defcee slaughtered this track. The first verse was dope enough, but he really snapped on that second verse.

Memory lane is patched with fables
Reality doesn’t match the way its math was made to
The past is tangled cradles cats will break through
Stable as late-90s major label debuts

He rhymed his fucking ass off here. I wish y’all could’ve seen my reaction the first time I heard this part…

Wrestlin' demons even the devil rejects, they’re too extreme
An episode from the finale before I’m rebooted as a fiend
Movin' through the scene, mushroomin' pupils glued to screens
Duelin' schemes speedin' through the rearview, the fuel is green

That might actually be my favorite verse on the whole album honestly. I love it. The third and fourth verses from billy woods & Elucid are of course very good as well, and I even like the hook on this track. There’s not a single aspect of this song that I don’t love. It’s dope af. The following track is called Summer 06, and it features SolarFive, who also put out a really great album this past March. I don’t like this song quite as much as the others just because the lyrical content doesn’t interest me as much, but it’s still enjoyable for me just because it’s so well done. I think the first verse from Defcee is really good, but I honestly think SolarFive’s verse is even better. His flow was very impressive, and I like his hook as well. The beat is pretty good too. This is a good track. Again, it’s not as great to me as the other songs, but I still fuck with it. Track 7 is called QTNA. I really dig the beat on this track, and the first verse is fantastic. I think this song probably has my favorite hook on the album.

Was I living or surviving?
Shuffled through the days, pretending that I was tryin'
Moved through the cold while my mood hit the lows
Mind on my money, I was losin' em both

The second verse is arguably better than the first one too. I mean, they’re both really good, so I guess it comes down to personal preference, but I personally lean toward the second one.

I would fail, and then learn to fall with grace
I’d talk to the squad, harm across my face
They kept one finger on the alarm in case
I found only one way to have my flaws erased
Too shook to die at my own hand
But I used to think I wouldn’t live to be a grown man
Studyin' the difference between breathing and survivin'
While I'm learnin' about how patient I can be from inside it

This is another one of my favorite songs on the album. I think it’s dope as hell. It’s followed by yet another highlight entitled Bubble Coat. This track has one of my favorite beats on the album, and Defcee’s flow on the first verse is fantastic. The hook is pretty good too. The second verse contains one of the best lines on the whole album…

Did the impossible: spoke to woods on FaceTime

Once again, I appreciate the straightforward structure of this song. As far as solo tracks go, this might be my favorite one on the album. I don’t know. I think it’s between this one and Dunk Contest. Anyway, the next track is called Boxing Bullets, and it features SolarFive & greenSLLIME. It opens with one of my favorite verses on the album from Defcee.

I been senpai since high school
So what they’ve written is just a prism I’m bending light through
Posted at the end of time, watchin' the signs move
IQ measured by hieroglyphics inside tombs
The legend foretold by opium visions
And Möbius strips of these lyrics which I’ve honed to precision
Turn a goat to Kronos gyro meat, hope bro tears don’t leak
'Cause we’ve broken sharper front lines into widows peaks

SolarFive murdered the second verse too. I love the way he was flowing on this track. The final verse is performed by greenSLLIME, whom I’d never heard rap before. I was only familiar with him through his production credits on Mick Jenkins tracks. He really impressed me here though. I think his verse is great. It’s hard for me to say who had the best verse on this track because everybody rapped incredibly well, but if you put a gun to my head and asked me who killed it the most I’d probably say Defcee. I just think his verse is beautifully written. The song is dope as hell. The penultimate track is called Shuriken, and it features an artist with whom I was previously unfamiliar named Mother Nature. The first couple of verses from Defcee are of course very well written, and he had a pretty nice flow.

They 1984’d us, knew I read this book before
Looks of awe in the lenses of the lessons we ignored
Cooked the medicine, and then dressed it in metaphors
I decoded the matrix, they aimin' to settle scores over time
Throwin' shots, takin penalties and fines
Put enforcers in a box, every sentence is a crime
Wishin' they could act as reckless as their eyes
Breakin' bonds with their squad just to settle for a lie

I was really impressed by the final verse from Mother Nature too. She’s another artist I’m gonna have to keep my eye on for future releases from. Her flow was nice as hell, and I like her vocal delivery. This is another one of the best songs on the album to me. I think it’s dope as hell. The closing track is called Moving Targets. I think the beat is pretty good. I’m probably sounding like a broken record at this point because I’ve been saying the same thing about all the tracks, but Defcee’s writing is fantastic on this song. I especially like the second verse. This song has a really good hook too. Overall, it’s not necessarily one of my favorite tracks on the album, but I don’t have any real gripes with it at all. I think it’s dope.

This album is dope as hell. I was absolutely right when I predicted that it’d be one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. I’m starting to think that Defcee can do no wrong. He’s easily one of my favorite writers in Hip Hop at the moment. What’s perhaps most impressive about this project is that all of the features were able to keep up with him. There’s not a single subpar verse on this album from any of the MCs here. This project introduced me to some dope rappers with whom I had zero experience, so that’s another positive. I wasn’t necessarily blown away by any of the beats, but I think they serve as really good backdrops for Defcee’s dense lyricism. If you’ve been a fan of Defcee up until this point, I don’t see how you can be disappointed with this record. I also think it’s probably a pretty good entry point for new listeners. I’m glad people are starting to catch on to Defcee’s talent because he’s easily one of my favorite rappers in the underground right now. This shit is fire. Check it out.

Favorite Song: Rossi
Least Favorite Song: Summer 06


Grade: A-

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