One of the highlights of the brand new Kendrick Lamar-curated compilation Black Panther: The Album, is “Paramedic!” a giddy burst of energy from the young Vallejo, California rap group SOB x RBE. SOB x RBE have been building their internet-level buzz for a while now, and so it’s great timing that Gangin, their debut album, is coming out today.
Gangin is exactly what an SOB x RBE album should be. It’s nothing but flossy, fired-up bangers, these kids bringing an intuitive sense of melody and an explosive energy to a whole lot of synthy, unpretentious, hard-slapping tracks. None of the rappers are technical masters, but they’re having fun, and it’s fun to listen to them.
The music on Gangin calls back to the shuddering bloop-clap sound of hyphy, the ’00s Bay Area sound that the SOB x RBE kids would’ve been hearing when they were tiny children. But it’s also updated and streamlined, and it doesn’t sound remotely throwbacky. My early favorite is “Once Upon A Time,” if only because I am unable to resist a sample of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer.” You can use Spotify to stream the whole album below.
Gangin is out now.