Brando Bambino is a respected mc in hip hop’s underground scene. In 2021 Bambino made waves with his joint project with Trot, Jules & Vincent, but today, we will be looking at his 2020 lp, Bambino.
Right Off The Bat (non pun intended) Bambino sells us on the records aesthetic with the intro track of the same name. With some drawn out soul vocals and climatic crescendos, Bambino sets the tone off the album off right with this track. Out of all the components on this song, the horns are definitely the most powerful and this sets up the next song “Shoot the Hostage” masterfully. After a quick vocal interlude about improving from album to album, Bambino enters the track with his cold flow and smooth delivery. Between Bambino’s cocky but knowledge filled lyrical passages and the glamorous but muddy loop which plays throughout the duration of this cut, Bambino comes out on this album in the hardest way possible.
Teaming up with the animated Burn&Loot, Vigilant is a chaotic storm of lyrical fire where the pair of mcs assert their dominance over the competition by showing they are the realist in a game of posers.
Being the albums most streamed track, “Bone To Pick” works as the centerpiece of the project. Over a piano driven boom bap beat, Brando floats on this track with his commanding flow and lyrical daggers. Between the quotables, instrumental, and scratches, this track is a real nos to hip hop’s roots and its a powerful moment because of this.
After interludes on the end of the previous track and on the beginning of “Galapagos,” we are introduced to the most lavish beat on this project and within this pristine sonic texture, Bambino’s bars only get harder with one liners like “keep the Lucy’s with the Ricardo’s.”
In a more high paced environment, Bambino makes a trap cut with “Scraps” and while the mixing on this track could have been further refined, Brando’s carefully paced flow makes the entire song a fun moment. Further displaying his mc skills, Bambino switched languages mid-verse and this feels like the cherry on top to his stellar performance. While this song could have been improved on the production side, Bambino’s showing makes this track worth coming to still.
On the albums self titled track, Brando Bambino teams up Burn&Loot once again for a haunting soul sample cut. Between the ghostly hums, and pulsing drums, this song captures you within it’s madness and outside of the hook which feels a little over-done with its poorly integrated autotune, this moment is perfect in the grand scheme of the listening experience.
Moving into the records closing leg, Bambino gives us another gem with “Piece of Work.” From the horns to the piano in the corner of the instrumental, this is one of the best produced tracks on the lp and Brando’s nothing to prove attitude makes for one of the hardest tracks on the record. The care Brando puts into his music can really be seen here as all aspects that make this album shine through. From the skit with Raekwon, sample choice, Brando’s pen and of course, the sonic layering this song is truly the standout of the album and one which blew me away.
As soon as you hear Biggie on the intro of “Make It Look Easy,” you know we are in store for a banger and the tracks touching but gritty feel immediately proves this. The way Brando acknowledges how he’s under appreciated but uses this to show how it builds to his overall character is an inspiring moment and something all can walk away with a positive lesson from.
Overall, Bambino is a very enjoyable album which shows a special mcs skillset off to the max while also showcasing his love for rap. To say this lp is well thought out is an understatement as Brando Bambino’s care to create a statement thats true to him can be seen throughout the record. Going forward, Brando Bambino will be on my radar and you should put him on yours.