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Album Review: Brandon Smith - Peru

Posted by: King Darrell
Twitter Handle: @OriginalKingD

So we threw out the line saying "If you want your album, LP or mixtape etc. reviewed just send us an email" and of course several people took the bait. Eventually I'll cover them all but this time I simply took the first one. The first email came from guy by the name of Brandon Smith who wanted me to check out his album "Puro." It's a hip hop album, I almost want to call it alternative hip hop, but lets not get hung up on genre.

The email started with "16 year old rapper." Now, I've seen enough YouTube posters start out comments like that and it's always bad music. I've gotten people on twitter start tweets like that, it's always been bad. So I'll be honest, I didn't expect anything good. But, I still took a listen because I said I would. I start to play the album and look at some of the reviews he attached to see if others felt the same way that I did. As I'm looking at these reviews I keep seeing the phrase "A good outing for a first release." I kept seeing that phrase over and over. As I'm reading this each time I'm getting angrier. This was not a good outing for a first release. It was a GREAT first outing if not perfect. I'm not just saying that to spare a 16 year old's feelings. I'm serious, it has to be one of my favorite pieces of music ever sent to me.

This is the first album from Brandon Smith so there isn't anything to compare it to in terms of his other works, because there are none. Where most artist would suffer from inexperience there are none of those "first time out" miss steps. Sometimes when an artist starts they may have problems such as poor audio quality or the instrumentals may be louder than the vocals, there could even be some distortion. None of that happens here and that's incredible for a rookie.

The production on the album is all done by Brandon. I'm seriously starting to think I was lied to. He can't be this good at 16 with no experience. While most artists are gravitating towards a more poppy techno or trap sounding style Brandon goes the exact opposite direction. The tracks lack the repetitive 808s we've grown accustomed to. Instead the tracks all have a somewhat soulful melody to them. This change from status quo is refreshing and only serves for me to like the artist more.

Now, if you don't know Anime Task Force is a group of artist who came together to make music and slander people on twitter. While the album does feature one gust appearance from Mac Tutmose, a member of ATF, the album doesn't fit the ATF style. I only compare Brandon to ATF briefly because ATF gaining popularity right now. The song Krillin/Twerk features Mac Tutmose, it flawlessly blends Brandon's style with Mac's style demonstrating a collaboration is a collaboration, not one artist bending to to the others style.

While the album features the same topics every album of every genre features such as women and money the overall theme is vastly different. I didn't expect a 16 year old to rap about; slavery, police brutality, stereotypes the average black male faces and many other heavy handed topics. Brandon pulls no punches and will talk about topics many artist will attempt to avoid. I hate to sound like a broken record, but once again, this is refreshing.

Lyrically, Brandon is ahead of his time. While he might have the average lame duck bar every now and then who doesn't? Have you heard the new Eminem album? He had plenty more than Brandon did. As far delivery, there's no hesitation. Each track is full of confidence and charisma. I get the feeling Brandon thinks he's the shit, and I'm not going to argue with him.

My favorite track without doubt is Niggers, Black men. The track features a somewhat old school instrumental you would expect from KRS One or Big Daddy Kane. The tracks features news clips from the Trayvon Martin trial before George Zimmerman was arrested. During that time large ammounts of conservatives where justifying the killing with Bill O' Reilly even stating "This isn't traditional white America anymore." The track takes aim at them with lines such as "White America loves putting halos on angels, why I don't know." But Brandon doesn't stop there. He takes aim other black with lines like "Worried about white on black, be worried about black on black because we're the main reason black bodies are getting stacked" He also has no problem taking aim at the New Black Panther party which looks more like a Nation of Islam sect than the original Black Panthers ever where. He hits them with lines like "Black panthers acting like black pussies, they're busy trying to take us back but not bring together black." True, the New Black Panther Party doesn't participate in any of the community outreach programs the original did, or any at all. I know that was a lot but like I said, the track is heavy handed and doesn't shy away from any issues. Beat flips are also nice.

The weakest track was Fly Away. I say that because of the unnecessarily long intro. Other than that there's nothing wrong with it. It's the normal "bitches ain't shit" track but it's still a good track. Honestly I like every track on the album. I even grew to love Fly Away. It's a no skip album.

The Score

  • Lyricism- 9
  • Flow-8
  • Production-9
  • Theme- 9
  • Replayability- 9
  • Individuality- 10
The final score is 9 overall. It's not the highest score I've given. But it is the highest score I've ever given a rookie. That just speaks to how much potential he has. If he keeps working hard, nobody can stop him. Well done Brandon Smith. Well done indeed. The album is free so there's no reason you shouldn't download it. Also You can find Brandon on twitter.

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Darrell S.

Hey, I write stuff, a lot of different stuff, that's all.


  1. I don't know, I heard it but it's too serious for something I could listen to on the regular basis.

    1. I think that's what makes it great. It's not made to be something that you just ride to or chill out to, it's more of a functional type of music. That's it's charm.

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