Vangarde – Self-Titled review

Vangarde is a newly formed MC/producer duo from Boston, Massachusetts consisting of veterans Mr. Lif & Stu Bangas. They first united at the beginning of the year after appearing on Stu’s latest EP Beats & Blood but fast forward 10 months later, they’re coming together for an official full-length debut.

After the “Global Shift” intro, the first song “Shelter in Place” enlists the help of Blacastan to discuss wanting America to do better over a noisy boom bap beat whereas the next track “Basquiat” boasts his lyricism over a dreary instrumental. The song “8:46” with Reef the Lost Cauze, Blueprint, MURS & Puma Ptah serves as a response to George Floyd’s murder over a funky boom bap beat & after the “Old World Brokeness” interlude, the track “Wave the Flag” talks about COVID-19 over an ominous instrumental.

The song “Sonar” finds The Perceptionists reuniting to get on the woke tip over a diabolical beat & after the “New World Adjustments” interlude, the track “Now’s Only Now” talks about not losing hope for the future over a monstrous boom bap beat with some keys & strings. “The New Normal” pays tribute to Gang Starr over a charismatic instrumental & then the closer “No Hitter” talks about being meant to rebel over a quasi-jazzy beat.

Stu Bangas has been having a Hell of a 2020 musically & Vangarde’s eponymous debut is no exception whatsoever. He continues to remind listeners of his place as one of the greatest producers that the underground has to offer & his sound meshes with Mr. Lif’s ever-thought provoking lyricism very well. Would love to see these 2 veterans work more with one another in the future.

Score: 4/5

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