Boldy James & Cuns Unleash Collaborative Album, "Be That As It May"

This marks Boldy's fourth collaborative album of the year, and pairs his storytelling with a more lush instrumental pallet.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
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Griselda's Detroit representative has established himself as one of the greatest lyricists working today with four excellent albums this year. Boldy James has just dropped his fourth collab of the year, Be That As It May with Cuns. Moreover, the Italian producer takes a lush and boom-bap-heavy approach to matching Boldy's lyricism. In fact, the previous single "Foot Prints," with its grand samples and hard-hitting percussion, was a great sonic indicator of the greatness to come.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 01: Boldy James of The Alchemist x Boldy James performs during the NBA Leather tour at The Warfield on February 01, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Still, this album does have its surprises. Cuns' production is a bit more crisp, orchestral, and rooted in '90s era hip-hop when it comes to sample choices and sequencing. While albums like Mr. Ten08 took things in an electronic or contemporary direction on occasion, the production here is rooted in soulful styles. If anything, it goes to show the 40-year-old MC's consistent versatility, appeal, and quality.

Moreover, Bo's been on a hot streak. Over the past twelve months, he released Super Tecmo Bo with The Alchemist, Killing Nothing with Real Bad Man, Fair Exchange No Robbery with Nicholas Craven, and Mr. Ten08 with Futurewave. In fact, he dropped Be That As It May almost exactly a year after his 2021 Alchemist collab. What's more is that they're all excellent.

Across this album in particular, Boldy is both a fantastic narrator for life experiences and a consistently confident spitter. His descriptions are intricate, his wordplay is creative yet grounded, and his delivery is so engaging that you won't notice a flow switch-up. In other words, it's smooth as butter, and the grueling themes in "Earned Not Given" and "God Speed" come through vividly. It's all made for some of the best albums of the year.

What did you think of this album and the Detroit MC's run this year? Do you have a favorite? Are you looking forward to that J Dilla-produced project? Whatever the case, let us know in the comments. If you have to catch up, peep the tracklist below and find Be That As It May by Boldy James and Cuns on your preferred streaming service. Also, stay tuned to HNHH for more great albums from the game's best MCs.


  1. OT Commute
  2. Earned Not Given
  3. Safe Keeps (Ft. Lord Apex)
  4. Foot Prints
  5. Daydates & Daytonas
  6. God Speed
  7. 2.2 Lbs
  8. Quinine (Ft. Bo Skeet & Taj Mahal)
  9. Travel Lodge
  10. Pepper Jack
  11. Closure

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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.