Vino La Mano – “Blood & Trust” review

This is the 10th EP from Texas emcee Vino La Mano. Breaking out a couple years ago after Benny the Butcher signed him to his E1 Music imprint Black Soprano Family Records, he’s been staying busy ever since by dropping a total of 9 EPs. But just a month after his previous one Circle of Trust, we’re already being treated to the follow-up Blood & Fire.

The EP starts out with “Live from the Krooked”, where Vino talks about trying not to get caught up in the game over a cavernous boom bap beat. The title track talks about going broke & starting back over a rock/boom bap fusion while the song “You Don’t Know What It’s Like” talks about having shit on his mind that he doesn’t show over an icy beat.

The track “Wolves Eat Sheep” flexes his mafioso lifestyle over an extravagant instrumental while the song “It’s Cut Throat” talks about how they gon’ acknowledge his pen over a morose boom bap beat. The penultimate track “YKTV” talks about his killers being on standby over a boom bap instrumental with a piano sample hanging in the background whereas then the closer “Gift & Curse” talks about what it took to get here over an incensed beat.

As much as I liked Circle of Trust, I think Blood & Fire is a step up from it. The Soul Monsters’ grimy production has improved quite a bit & you can really tell Vino was coming from the heart in his verses. If he’s got more EPs or even a full-length album in store for 2021, then I already know he’s gonna get better from hereon out.

Score: 3.5/5

Vino La Mano – “Circle of Trust” review

Vino La Mano is a 33 year old MC from Corpus Christi, Texas who broke out a couple years ago after Benny the Butcher signed him to his E1 Music imprint Black Soprano Family Records. He’s released a total of 8 EPs since but to continue his hustle into 2021, Vino is staying on the grind by dropping a 9th EP.

The opener “Bill Lambert” has some dope mafioso lyrics throughout, but the production is just ok to me. The next song “Pair of Aces” talks about playing the hands he’s delt with over a grimy boom bap beat while the track “Mo Money” talks about the bread over a flute-tinged instrumental. The song “I’m Numb” gets on the introspective side of things over a boom bap beat with a psychedelic rock-flavored guitar throughout about while the penultimate track “Stretch the Cake” talks about being a different breed over an instrumental kin to Griselda‘s W.W.C.D. (What Would Chinegun Do?). The EP finishes off with “Gangsters Don’t Smile”, where Vino talks about how thugs don’t show happinness unless proven not guilty over a somber beat.

Overall, it’s a pretty solid EP. Some of the best bars Vino La Mano has ever written pop up on here whereas The Soul Monsters’ production does a decent job of honning in on that signature Griselda sound. If you’re a diehard BSF fan, then I recommend you give this EP a listen & I can’t wait to hear what he does on a full-length album down the road.

Score: 3.5/5