Frank White Bx is back with one of his best offerings yet – ‘Honor Among Thieves‘ produced entirely by the master of the boards Enels. The lyrical heavyweight and Bronx native, Frank White Bx is HIM when it comes to spitting straight bars, showcasing an effortless ability to blend subject matter, from the streets to the sheets, and take the listener on a journey they seldom forget. On his latest project, Frank gets to really showcase the depth and maturity to his music, his life taking centre stage as he navigates the boom bap production with precision, popping in and out of the pocket with witty wordplay and carefully crafted street poetry.
Over the course of ten tracks, Frank brings the listener into the fold, captivating them through the lyrical paintings he creates with his extensive command of language. And it’s not just the content that lures you in, it’s the confident but not arrogant flow, that allows you to really focus in on the nefarious narratives Frank is spitting. The album starts with a triumphant instrumental on ‘Intro‘ setting the tone for Frank to warm up and get energised, before ‘Dreams‘ is a really dope joint that channels that ‘inner Biggie’ but stands on its own two – a robust tribute as opposed to a dick riding bite. If grimey is your thing though, Frank got you with that too. ‘Gun Case‘ has all the elements of a street anthem – it’s dark, moody and you can smell the gun smoke coming from the mic when he spits, but ‘Struggles‘ flips the script and gets more introspective and inspiring. There is no facade here, this is Frank at his most raw and honest – an insight we rarely get from most artists. Enels captures the essence of the track with an understated yet inspiring theme / score.
The head gets nodding and the neck starts snapping when Frank takes us back to the golden era on ‘90’s Freestyle‘. This track has that block party, street corner vibe and the effortless nature of the flow, makes this joint just flow. In stark contrast, ‘Now I Lay‘ hits heavy, melancholic, haunting vocals start things off, then the beat gets REAL grimey and moody. The keys are deliberate, and Frank uses a more purposeful flow to really deliver what he is dropping. We get a little ‘rican with ‘I Don’t Dance‘ but it’s brilliantly balanced with the boom bap – making you play the wall but not dance…. just make the bands flip.
‘No Favors‘ has a 70’s lounge / soul vibe and it glides delicately through the headphones, underpinning the hearty bars that Bx spits, then it’s ‘Feelings Mutual‘ which is more of that traditional sound we love to hear…. drums that snap, chimes / bells / keys that add emphasis and keep the production interesting – and Frank is back in that pocket. Smooth talking, velvet glove over an iron fist kind of shit before we round this project out with another triumphant instrumental, celebrating yet another top tier hip hop offering from Frank & Enels.
Bangers: 90’s Freestyle, Dreams, Now I Lay, Intro / Outro.
Score: 9 / 10. Frank White Bx is more than just a rapper – he’s a street-infused, storyteller who effortlessly drops knowledge and braggadocious bars in equal measure. his beat choice is flawless, but when you have Enels riding shotgun, it’s easy to pick those instrumentals that really knock! This album is more mature, more balanced and even sharper than Frank’s previous work. Which means, while this is dope, the best is still yet to come.
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