Mixtape Review-White America by Blanco Caine
The song Club Money off Blanco Caine’s mixtape White America begins with a clip of someone explaining the racial inequality of the prison systems in America and then a frantic drum pattern begins and lyrics where girls are getting buck naked for money. Someone in the background is desperately reaching for a falsetto as he says “these hoes love mooonnneeeyyyy!” It’s such a jarring moment and a good example of what Chicago hip hop is at this point; whatever you want it to be. If you think rap from the Chi is generally violent and offensive you can point at Chief Keef or find Twista lyrics (going all the back to the 90’s) that prove your point. If you want it to be smart and thought provoking you have Chance The Rapper, Common, and Vic Mensa to quote from but the truth is that it’s a little of everything. On Club Money Blanco jokes that he hit a stripper with so much money she got a concussion while on the next song (Fresh) he wakes up and grabs his gun first thing. Every brag is laced with warning over trap beats that carry the same paranoid aggression in their baselines.
Some of the production is from well known people like Young Chop (on the track Go) and Tree (on the track Something Mean originally on Tree’s Chicago compilation tape) but the most important work is done by lesser known parties like Hooligan, Nascent, and Gold Barra. Hooligan really starts testing speakers on Special which goes hard enough to give your head nod a kink. Gold Barra gives Blanco a droning minimalist reverberation on Po Up, Nascent makes One Shot sound like Nasir Jones Blaxploitation Bap from the Made You Look days and what I really like is how Caine fits on all of them. The eighteen tracks on White America go different directions but are bound by Blanco who can digress on violence, the prison system, rap music or bind them into one thought as he does on One Shot “Man the sh_t exists way before Chief Keef if you gonna blame him then N_ blame me, blame anyone that rap about it but the parents.”
The anger and the skits on race are not the main draw. White America is just as fun as it is anything else. It features D-boy anthem That Smell which always deserves to be turned up and Front My Move where Tree is in rare form on the chorus and his guest verse.
It’s really cool to listen to White America and not have to worry about who Blanco sounds like. He’s not copping a southern flow for radio or doing some phony east coast accent. Blanco just sounds like himself, pouring every word out of blender that has violence, confidence, perversion and humor equally distributed. Eighteen tracks can feel like a lot but it never does. As it moves along the project gains strength and by the time it ends your ready for it to begin again.
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