Bankroll Fresh - In Bank We Trust Mind Music Album Reviews

 
A posthumous album showcases the late Atlanta rapper’s head-spinning dexterity without attempting anything more than that, both grounded and limited by its avoidance of the usual pomp.

When Trentavious White, better known as the rapper Bankroll Fresh, was murdered on March 4, 2016, at Atlanta’s Street Execs studio, modern hip-hop’s capital city lost one of its most innovative stylists and authentic storytellers. Even in a city where new talent seemed to emerge daily, Bankroll’s peak was short. “Hot Boy,” his breakout hit, dropped in fall 2014,, only 18 months before his death. Yet Bankroll was notably connected, and respected: he was a collaborator of 2 Chainz and Future, close friends with Zaytoven and Metro Boomin’, and he gave Jeezy his last hit, the thunderous “All There,” which owed its success to Bankroll’s sound. Before Migos and Young Thug asserted control of Atlanta, Bankroll was on his way to creating a lane of his own, linking micro-generations of Atlanta trap: Travis Porter’s club-ready bounce, T.I.’s menacing swagger, and frequent collaborator Gucci Mane’s warbly wordplay.

A hardened, husky-voiced trap rapper, whose stories of life in Atlanta’s Zone 3 rang of pain and paranoia, Bankroll was blessed with the dexterity to switch between myriad flows and invent new ones seemingly on the spot; his go to ad-lib, fittingly, was “switch it up!” “ESPN,” a highlight from his best tape, 2015’s Life of a Hot Boy, has Bankroll approaching the beat from its side, rapping offbeat so forcefully that it creates its own pocket. He delighted in exploiting a beat’s open spaces: On the mesmerizing “Fuck is You Sayin,” released the same year, the rhymes tumble out of Bankroll as if involuntarily, like he’s on the verge of sputtering out. He rapped with the control and violence of a deranged puppet master, prefacing the irreverent, rhythm-warping flows of rappers like Lil Baby, Gunna, and Valee, and helping to set the stage for 21 Savage’s deadpan menace to break out into the mainstream.

Bankroll’s rise and untimely crash happened so fast that he never got to release his debut album. In its place, after years of delays, we get In Bank We Trust, a collection of hard-hitting loosies, a feast of dizzying rhyme schemes and mournful trap synths that showcases Bankroll’s talent but never attempts anything more than that. In Bank We Trust isn’t a sappy, exploitative posthumous tribute, but a no-frills reminder of Bankroll’s gripping artistry.

The record starts out blisteringly hot, punctuated by the brooding “Extra” and the regal “Quarter Million,” which starts with Bankroll nearly screaming, “I pull the trigger like MacGyver! Young nigga ballin, I go the eye of the tiger!” He changes gears three different times on the riot-starting “Right On,” and stretches and snaps his flow like a rubber band on the astounding opener “Mind Body Soul.” The beats, handled mostly by Atlanta stalwarts D. Rich and Shawty Fresh, are often bombastic, but they’re also dated and rudimentary, the stuff of mid-decade Gucci Mane tapes. Yet Bankroll still makes magic here, commanding trap numbers like “Feel Me,” the Boosie-featuring “Million Up,” and the highlight “Playin Wit a Check” with murderous precision.

In Bank We trust is both grounded and limited by its avoidance of the outsized glitz and ambition that often accompany posthumous albums. It’s difficult not to imagine what a Zaytoven and Metro Boomin-helmed project, or an album featuring any grouping of Bankroll’s long list of admirers, would have sounded like instead. But there’s something fitting about the lack of pomp. This is a rapper who, despite his ridiculous talent, didn’t seem intent on making it as a rapper. “I want the fortune, motherfuck the fame,” he raps to begin the album. Industry acceptance and household-name status weren’t part of the plan. Listeners loved Bankroll because of the gritty authenticity that radiated from every verse, and his undeniable dedication to his people.

As an album, In Bank We Trust is somewhat less than the sum of its mostly strong parts; it’s a tantalizing, yet unorganized and unrefined, look at a remarkable rapper. But it does what it needs to do, which is to allow Bankroll to continue sharing his life, despite its early end. “Tell em your story, bankroll fresh...” Erykah Badu tweeted two months before his death. Thankfully, that story isn't over quite yet.


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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Bankroll Fresh - In Bank We Trust Mind Music Album Reviews Bankroll Fresh - In Bank We Trust Mind Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, April 11, 2020 Rating: 5

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