Plenty of times the last few years I’ve longed for a rapper passionate about storytelling. I love punchlines, brags, money, cash, hoes etc. But the art of storytelling felt lost amidst a foul sea of mindless turn up. Then this “new New York” ship sailed in, rather hilariously though, since New York has never gone anywhere in terms of sonic importance. Yet out of the blue we were blindsided by this new crop of NY artists more concerned with quality and flash.
Tucked away nicely somewhere in Spanish Harlem is Bodega Bamz. He made waves around these parts with 2013’s Strictly For My P.A.P.I.Z. On that tape he laces the menacing “Glorious” (produced expertly by V-Don) with the phrase, “I’m from the east, who am I to fuck tradition up?” He believes in his roots, and is figuring out the fickle tightrope walk of the hip hop game by flipping it the bird and stepping hard.
Sidewalk Exec is a wild east coast opera, full of quotable bars and memorable moments. Bamz pays careful attention to the violence of his past complete with a studio twist, to remind us how much showmanship it takes to make it. There’s nothing fake here, but Bamz has mastered the larger than life persona that’s sorely lacking (sorry Rozay,it’s just unbearable) in today’s mainstream market.
Nothing on Sidewalk Exec is tailor made for the radio and simulatneously nothing is out of reach. V-Don’s exclusive production is haunting enough to harken us back to that moment you first heard “Shook Ones”. It’s almost too real, but flashy enough to easily recognize the bravado. “Raw Deal” is the song I’ve been looking for since Biggie fucked that chick who dated a New York Knick. It’s a blast. Woopty Woop Blahzay Blah.