Bandz Can't Fold album cover (photo:: Burna Bandz)
Album reviews
Artist:
Burna Bandz
Album:
Bandz Can't Fold
Release year:
2020
Label:
UpTop Movement Inc.
08 June 2020 / by Demar Grant (author)

Movement: Trap

Lane: Polo G, Juice Wrld

 

Every trap project needs stellar production. We’ve progressed past simple high hats and booming bass, now guitars, flutes, pianos and PlayStation samples are all par for the course. Production is the linchpin that holds the genre together. There’s no head banging, trunk rattling or moshing without it. Lyrics are de-emphasized but vocals still matter, flows still matter and hooks still matter (nobody is showing up to concerts to hear an hour and a half of instrumentals, sorry classical fans). Burna Bandz has taken that de-emphasis another step further.

Bandz Can’t Fold isn’t so much devoid of vocals, as it is devoid of good ones. Bandz reached across the board to pull the sounds of this project together, with Joshua Clouting, Sonorous, Catch22Beats, Smokescreen, Benji, Zachary Butt, London Cyr, Benjamin Lasnier, Adb Beats, Palazzo all solo producing a track and flourishing. The project’s production is evocative and remorseful over its 33-minute runtime but Burna Bandz can’t manage to compliment them.

Bandz Can’t Fold is a display of duality. Songs blessed with elegant keys can be cursed with a 17-bar hook on ‘Diddy’. A brilliant ballpark turn bando organ can be accompanied by the Toronto rapper coming “Straight out the woods gang like Compton” on ‘Fendi’. And it’s where the final boss-esque piano and guitar underline Bandz’s lazy “We be on that bullshit like Scotty Pippen” simile on ‘Love of the Money'

The songwriting is a mess. Nearly every producer offers Bandz a place to stunt and in the limelight he stumbles. Too many verses feature woefully slurred words and too few of them feature actual captivating delivery. Trappers can get away with offering little meat on the bone, but Bandz’s janky hooks and jumbled flows offers no meat and barely the bone.

Luckily, he doesn’t have to worry about his features overshadowing him with the likes of Baby K laying an awkward (and sometimes off-beat) verse on ‘Fendi’. JNeat and Supawassi also make an appearance on ‘Make the Cut’ only to drop replacement level bars.

Trap is more than high hats, pianos and 808’s. Interesting vocals, interesting flows or funny word play is the lifeblood of trap music and without them listeners would be better set turning to instrumentals. With his sloppy flows, overstuffed bars, feeble similes and sterile delivery Burna Bandz's Bandz Can't Fold is a vocally marred but thrilling beat tape.

 

Rating: 3/10

Heat: Diddy's production, Fendi's production, Pay Attention's production

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The author

Demar Grant

I'm just trying to put you on. @DemarJGrant

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