East Harlem's own Lex Lavo recently dropped his debut album, Bodega Dreams 3.
While Lavo has released a few videos this year, including with Dave East called "40s N 40s," the nine-track compilation of Bodega Dreams 3 fills in the gaps and brings NYC's bodega scenery to vivid life." He brings heat and rawness to the New York City Hip-Hop scene by tying NYC staples such as the bodega and gritty sounds to the music. With his nine-track project, Bodega Dreams 3, he tells us the story of how he turned his childhood dreams into reality.
Lavo opens up Bodega Dreams 3 with the hardcore track, "Lifestyle." He undeniably portrays the lifestyle of a gritty borough of New York City through fiery bars, starting the track shouting "el barrio out." With witty wordplay, he intelligently intertwines words together to show us how the theme of loyalty and code has great relevance in his borough, as he makes it clear in "Loyalty was еverything, you ain't have to second guеss." His vivid songwriting triggers the imagination as Lavo brings out some old school New York hip-hop rhymes, especially when he refers to "money, power, and respect," combined with the upbeat sounds, such as a funky bass line.
Other notable tracks like "Hold Up" bring out yet another side of the powerful emcee. He smoothly sings about the real love that he craves, while releasing an impeccable rhyme flow in the rap. Lavo's versatility doesn't go unnoticed as he ties this message across cleverly in his lyrics, such as, "Your boy classy, plus a little street / I'm a product of both worlds." The catchy rhyming chorus is further accentuated by Lavo's smooth delivery. Being vulnerable and raw with his emotions over a minimal late-night beat puts us all in our feelings.
Overall, the production stays consistent across all songs in a way that reminds us of the city throughout while showing us how each track develops Lavo's self-discovery. Bodega Dreams 3 is a bodega in the form of music, giving us a variety of different flavors of music from an earnest place.