Bay Blanco lays a solid foundation with debut mixtape Lago$city Trap$tar
Written by Charles Odugbesan
I remember just a few months ago being in North London, having a much needed catch up session with Bay Blanco. We chilled and traded stories, he played me some songs from the vault and spoke of a new sense of urgency he was treating his music with. He’d shown glimpses of potential in his music: a track here, a feature there – some of which we have promoted on our 14HQ share page! But as a quiet observer and old friend who has known Blanco to make music for years I was waiting for the man to fashion a project. An album; a mixtape; an EP; an LP, something, anything for listeners to identify him by. He told me he was due to pick up the pace as he boarded a plane and swapped London for Lagos. Fast forward a few months and we have his maiden project… Lago$city Trap$tar. Done. Finally.
Blanco is a rapper, an emcee first and foremost. The first song he sent to us was called ‘Look it Up’, track 2 on LCT. This is home for Blanco. That arrogant, sauce drippin’ type sound. Mid to up tempo, aggressive seemingly simple lyrics laced with intricate word play (overlook his lines to your own detriment) and a melodic hook for good measure. Tracks 4 (Wishing), 5 (Likkle Man), 9 (Golden Boy) and 10 (Fvck It) should give you a better understanding.
Let’s not look past the opening track though! Having a good idea of the style of Blanco’s music, hearing the mixtape opener ‘Blanco’ was a pleasant surprise. Here he hooks up with producer LO who gives us a very uplifting sound – a music video on the beach type of vibe that Blanco rides perfectly with a trippy, serene set of lyrics. It’s a small glimpse of diversity that Blanco offers right from the onset, and sure enough this wasn’t the only song LO would produce on the mixtape. He returns with Blanco to give us ‘9 Lives’, a personal favourite of mine. Sharp ears will also recognise the Scarface sample here. Shout out to the most legendary trapstar Mr Montana!
Diversity is the hallmark of a very able musician. A body of work that can slow down in parts and then speed up, or offer different tones and different moods adds colour to the whole sound. It’s a challenge that Blanco willingly takes on and demonstrates in sprinkles on Lago$city Trap$tar. Songs such as ‘Ounces’, ‘Studio PxXxrn’ and ‘Sleep’ show that Blanco has the ability to switch it up and explore new avenues in his work. Even rappers are more diverse these days. It’s not just about the gritty bars, clever wordplay and endless flows – what melodies can you offer? Changes of pace? Changes of tone? How well do you collaborate with certain producers and artists? What makes Lago$city Trap$tar such an interesting listen is that Blanco touches on these areas in the tape just enough to get your attention and for you to keep an eye out for him. Just in case he comes back with more of that flavour!
As I said before, this is a very solid body of work for a first mixtape and it gives Bay Blanco a foundation to grow and produce even better material. He states all this to have been his vision since ’06… we’ll let’s see what the future brings and how the vision unfolds!! Go and check out Lago$city Trap$tar, available on all platforms including Apple Music, Spotify and Soundcloud here.