Every member of the Bay Area crew MacArthur Maze knows the stakes are high when it comes to being an artist from their part of the country. From Too $hort and E-40 to Hieroglyphics and Master P, the Bay has birthed countless hip-hop legends and rising voices alike. And for this collective of emcees, musicians and creatives, they’re eager to honor those who paved the way while also carving out their own niche in the scene. To say they’ve done exactly that with their debut album, Blvck Saturday, feels like an understatement on every level.
This project is a culmination of several years of hard work and manifestation from these emcees (Champ Green, Ian Kelly, Roux Shankle, D. Bledsoe, Blvck Achilles, and Jane Handcock) along with their deejay/producer, D Sharp. And for Bledsoe, he says it’s surreal seeing it all come to fruition.
“After nearly every session, meeting, video shoot or performance, Champ Green and I would spend time visualizing this very moment,” .D.Bledsoe
Blvck Saturday is more than a moment—it feels like a movement. That’s because everyone gets a chance to shine on these 11 tracks, whether it’s D Sharp’s immensely dope production or each rapper’s unique approach. Just listen to how Kelly, Bledsoe, and Green pass the mic back and forth on the funky “Panther Bruce Lee,” or light one up as Green, Bledsoe, and Achilles rip apart Sharp’s gritty production on “Blvck Saturdays.” Other standouts include the album-closer “Thank You Have a Nice Day,” a straight-up slapper featuring nearly every member flexing their skills.
That “movement” feeling is also poignant when you consider the album title’s origins. According to Achilles, Blvck Saturday pays homage to “a party/movement that came from the Bay Area in the late ’90s and early aughts.” He goes on to describe it as underground and counterculture, and that “it connected hella people through music.” It’s easy to hear that same fiery passion throughout this project, which was born out of a desire for everyone in Mac Maze to create something bigger together.
Blvck Saturday is available now for stream through all major DSPs via Table 5 Music Group.