Artist: The Truth & Frank B

Album: BadFellas

Tracklisting:

  1. Lil Mo Mozzarella (Intro)
  2. BadFellas (prod. by Gennessee)
  3. FU Pay Me (prod. by Kidmal)
  4. Paint Houses (feat. Bobby J From Rockaway) [prod. by Max Perry]
  5. Funny How? (prod. by Buckroll)
  6. Code Red (feat. Cold Sholda) [prod. by Vinny McBeth]
  7. Caruso (prod. by Vinny McBeth)
  8. My Cousin (prod. by DJ  Z The Kingpin)
  9. That’s It (prod. by DJ Qvali)

Review:

I’ve mentioned several times throughout my journey on this blog, how much I look forward to hearing Frank B on the mic. I heard him ONE time on Shuko’s, The Foundation, when he did a cut called, What Happened?. It was one of those moments in my listening history that became embedded. It was THAT strong of a track to me at the time and still resonates with me to this day.

He released a smattering of tracks throughout the next fifteen years but nothing consistent, then I get this email saying that he’s teamed up with the The Truth for this album called BadFellas. I was not going to miss out.

This album from the cover to the music is a musical rendering of the classic mob movie, GoodFellas. It often references the movie from song titles, to sound bytes, and integrated into the lyricism itself. If you are going to pull off something like this, you’ve got to precise, because when the audience gets the reference, it’s more impactful.

The Truth and Frank B do just that with their record. Their title track, Badfellas, sets the scene, with some Italian laced boom bap, produced by Gennessee. It’s got some light acoustic guitar sprinkled in with with some altered Italian vocals and closes with an iconic scene from the movie with Joe Pesci talking to Spider. But in the midst of it all, our two emcees are spitting flammable lyrics. I’ve spoken on Frank B alot, but The Truth, is a proper emcee as well and shows you his skill set with bars such as these.

You don’t know the culture, speak the langauge, and you’ve never been to Italy / I work hard for everything I got, is you shitting me? / I’m knocking at your door if you’re behind my back whispering / Bickering…never do the tit for the tat / It’s not about who you was, or where you from, it’s where you’re at

Another one of my favorite tracks is Paint Houses featuring Bobby J From Rockaway. Which transitions to the phraseology of another mob movie, The Irisishman. The reference to “painting houses” (I will save you the trouble) is to a hit job. Meaning you’re painting the walls red with blood. The production sample I have heard before, most recently ten years ago on the Infinity Gauntlet track Anti-Angelz. But this really is an ill sample and the team sounds impeccable rocking over it. A true sure shot. Here’s a bar snippet from Frank B. :

A little sorry your delivery’s off / Instead of luring you to a hill and killing you soft / I’d rather body you right here without feeling remorse / Get split up so many times you’re feeling divorced

The last track I will speak on specifically is Funny How. This is a hip hop spin on another iconic scene from the movie where Pesci snaps when he is told he is “funny”. This is probably one of the hardest tracks on the album with how the production knocks from Buckroll. The bass on this joint just slaps. It just has an appeal where I could see people playing this in the streets all summer. With this chorus

You say I’m funny, but I’m funny how? / Making more than my teachers who used to put me down

You say I’m funny, but I’m funny how? / Laughing all the way to the bank, who funny now?

You say I’m funny, but I’m funny how? / Cuz back in the day I was the class clown?

You say I’m funny, but I’m funny how? / What’s the fuck is so funny, tell me I’m funny how?

So while BadFellas has a foundation and concept, I really don’t want it to be lost on people how talented this duo is. The talent should not be overshadowed. Alot of people don’t know who The Truth and Frank B are so let it be reitereated on these pages that these gentlemen are consummate emcees. They deliver throughout this album with a dope consistency. I don’t think that point is any better illustrated by the DJ Qvali produced track, That’s It (which was discussed earlier). That’s as pure of a hip hop track as you are going to hear…anywhere. So rest assured, when you cop this album (which you should), you are getting a high dose of hip hop flavor, served in Italian.

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