AntBanks380 – God Fearing Gangster

 AntBanks380 – God Fearing Gangster

AntBanks380 – God Fearing Gangster – EP Review

Been a good day for the hip-hop genre.  After reviewing the latest chapter from Da Challenger’s catalog, I moved onto the God Fearing Gangster himself, AntBanks380…and the good fortune continued to spit from the speakers all around me.

“Tomorrow” has a solid rhythm, melody and groove to the gentle music and beat that guide this track along.  The vocal-flow is good, has excellent ideas, and also stumbles a little with the multiple layers intersecting at times…but the overall ambition is achieved here.  “Tomorrow” packs in an extremely positive and inviting vibe…seeking to spread the love…solid samples and singing in the hooks brighten up the idea as it begins to expand and the first chapter in this story from AntBanks380 begins to unfold.  There’s an interesting mix on this particular cut that makes it sound like it was recorded live-vocals with the music actually playing in the background…not sure if that’s the intention on this one but it’s noticeably different than the rest of what we hear on this EP to follow.  I appreciate the complex way that the lyrics work and the positive messages they send and it starts the EP out in kind of a low-key vibe that gives it plenty of room to find even more inspiring gears as it plays on.

As the EP continues, “Let GOD” comes in with the low-end big & beefy…the sound definitely has that gangster-esque texture in the atmosphere…it’s an interesting contrast to hear such an aggressive tone & vibe in the attitude of the vocals as we’re listening to faith-based music.  You gotta admire the passion if nothing else…personally I really dig the music on this track and think it sets a perfect stage for “Let GOD” to expand and explore the idea in-full.  Honestly, AntBanks380 has a similar vocal-tone and sound to Busta Rhymes…though I’d have to assume that in personality and choice of themes in their music are about as far apart as two artists in the same genre could get.  So maybe that’s not exactly a collaboration we can expect any time soon…the reference is still certainly meant as a compliment.

“Keep It Moving” featuring Hahje brought me back to the image you see on the front cover of this record.  If you don’t let your eyes trick you into thinking they’re seeing what they’ve seen many times before – you’ll notice that the image in the bottom-right corner actually reads ‘Official Advisory Real Content’ – and I think there’s a fantastic example of that on “Keep It Moving.”  Lyrically, it’s a more adaptable tune than some of the rest…people outside of faith & religion could potentially also relate to a lot of what’s being said on this cut.  Everything about this track is 100%…there’s an absolutely incredible mix on this cut that demands to be repeated and the performances of these emcees is completely ALIVE and slips perfectly into the energy of the music on “Keep It Moving.”  Well written lyrics, all delivered spot-on to the meter and clear as they get…you hear the words but you also hear the passion and conviction behind them – I respect that, big time.  Really solid tune overall…to me this would be the perfect lead-single from this EP to bring in listeners from all corners of the globe.

Message & music intertwine on “People Get Ready” in a much more straight-ahead lay-out…if there was any doubt as to which faith AntBanks380 identifies with…well…that should be resolved with certainty by the time you finish the Jesus-chanting ways of this track.  It’s well documented here throughout the pages that I don’t subscribe to any kind of faith or organized religion…which makes a track like this as specific as it is a lot tougher to get into for people outside it, but I also recognize that it’s not necessarily written for me.  This track is much more for the believers out there and people that share that same faith as AntBanks380 has than it is for the others out there…I’d assume that’s correct, otherwise the message itself would be much more threaded into the lyrics and music as it is on the other tracks from this EP.  There’s a profession of faith or reference to Jesus on each and every one of these tracks…there’s no hiding that, nor should he…but the more specific the writing, the more narrow the audience…and that’s something to consider when writing a song like “People Get Ready.”  I dig the smoothness of the main vibe that drives the music…I found the mix on the sample of ‘Jesus’ entering the music to be up a bit too much resulting in a bit of a jarring experience when listening to what was so smooth & chill only seconds before – bit mixed on how I felt about this one.

Check out “P.U.S.H.” by comparison…and you’ll know what I’m getting at.  There’s two main ways to go about putting the word out there…direct and indirect…and I think “P.U.S.H.” resumes a more dialed-back approach to getting the message across that should lead to a more widespread audience.  Songs like “Keep It Moving” and “P.U.S.H.” have that ability to unite people through music, still get their message across without coming on too strong for people outside of his faith.  I’d never suggest hiding it…I’m not for religion myself but I’m certainly all about people proudly embracing who THEY are – and I think in that respect AntBanks380 really does himself proud here in creating a faith-based record that has dynamic and listenable music.  “P.U.S.H.” ends the experience on the strongest of notes…the depth of the beat and samples in the music combined with the perfection in AntBanks380’s flow on this final cut leaves us with a highly memorable impact made and the satisfaction of a job well done.

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