The arrival of Bruiser Wolf’s second album My Story Got Stories has been long awaited – not just because Bruiser came out swinging with a rookie of the year contender in 2021 with Dope Game Stupid, but also because he’s a bit of a late bloomer like Danny Brown before him.
Of course you love him for the clever and ridiculous punchlines that present his antics in the drug game as larger than life (filling the Stove God Cooks sized hole in our hearts as we await his sophomore album as well), but also for the mature peaks into the search for peace after making it out of the game. For all of Bruiser Wolf’s charisma and lyrical talent, Dope Game Stupid felt a bit low stakes; My Story Got Stories, however, expands on all of his strengths by branching out with his production, getting some relatively big name features, and diving even deeper into his personal life.
For one thing, there’s the single “2 Bad”, where he grabs his Bruiser Brigade partners for what might be a straight up party song with any other rappers, or “I Was Taught To” with Trinidad James which is a bouncy California trap beat so far off from anything we’ve heard him do so far.
For how fun tracks like this are though, the most important moments on My Story Got Stories are where he shows a bit more of the man behind the flow. Tracks like “Waiting In the Lobby” follow the example of “Mama Was a Dopefiend“, where he demures single fatherhood and adds so much more humanity to a usually over the top voice (although he is married to the game and hates that bitch). Even the mere appearance of Stretch Money on here adds so much weight to Bruiser Brigade as a loyal mainstay of the Detroit rap scene.
With that being said, My Story Got Stories is an apt claim for Bruiser Wolf; despite it only being his second album, he presents himself as a seasoned vet of both the rap game and the streets. When he raps “It’s snakes, but they just not venomous / And they’ll dance if you play the right instrument”, it’s a kind of confidence and wisdom that only comes from somebody in peak form not just as a rapper, but as a man. These punchlines are much more than jokes; they’re years of real experiences that can only be made light of now that they’re in the past tense.
In fact, Bruiser’s signature playful delivery (which many have compared to E-40 or Suga Free, deepening the Bay / Detroit connection) being so different from his speaking voice implies that all this clever shit talk is just fun and effortless to him now, despite the darker undertones. He found peace in the pot, not because the game is easy or he ever had any advantages, but because he can put these stories out on record now and make something greater and safer out of it: “My first toy was a scale, I had no choice / Money talk, I had no voice”.
We can only hope that Bruiser Wolf continues to capitalize on this momentum, coming off a breakthrough feature on Danny Brown’s “YBP”, among others, such as Blockhead’s The Aux, and we won’t have to wait so long for another project. That Harry Fraud connection could be special, and don’t be surprised when he steals the show on the rumored Bruiser Brigade compilation. The label is granting a second life to Detroit artists who might not be accepted elsewhere or might have aged out of their window, but what they’re accomplishing through the 2020’s so far might be far more important than any of that, as evidenced by Bruiser Wolf’s ascent here.