March 19, 2013

Deen plans to review several other producer mixtapes this week as part of a proposed trilogy. We’ll see.

I’m not sure if Bangladesh is underrated or not, but I don’t think he gets enough credit for his accomplishments – of which there are many. The fact that I feel the need to write a quick introduction to his work kinda suggests that maybe he’s a little unsung. Then again, he’s from Iowa so he was probably destined to be underrated. I mean, is Iowa even in the Midwest? Where dreams go to die/rest? I think I drove through Des Moines once to get to a disgusting gas station in Kansas City. Or his relatively low profile could have something to do with the fact that he hasn’t been as prolific as most of his colleagues in the last decade and a half. I only mention this because his occasional interviews, appearances and hooks/rapping peformances all indicate that he WANTS a larger profile than he has at the moment. But that’s his problem. Or not. I’m sure he sleeps well. I mean, you’ve gotta sleep well with the self-given moniker “King of Beats.”

That said, Bangladesh has been kicking around since about 2000 and his first notable hit was Ludacris’ breakout single “What’s Your Fantasy.” He’s also responsible for a variety of hits for artists ranging from Gucci Mane (“Lemonade”- yep, that was him) and Lil’ Wayne (“A Milli”/”6 Foot Seven”- those too) to Nicki Minaj (“Did It On Em”) and Rihanna (‘Cockiness’). If he has a trademark, it would have to be a bass heavy, worldy and occasionally subtle take on the kind of catchy chaos that Swizz Beatz traffics in on a regular basis. Alternately, one might say he kinda rests right at the intersection of Swizz’s hyperactivity and Timbaland at his weirdest.

Ponzi Scheme finds Bangladesh in prime form behind the boards. As a rapper/hookman, he’s more than proficient and I actually enjoy his less than personable work, but his real talent is production. His weirdness is on full display throughout – especially via his sample choices. The man somehow managed to turn a snippet of Bach’s ‘Toccata & Fugue in D Minor” into twerkworthy madness for 2Chainz and Birdman to floss on without immediately recalling Count Dracula or any other muppets. The same applies to his chopping The Knack’s “My Sharona” into an ode to shopping on “Buy.”

While I can’t be entirely sure that Bangladesh’s production brings the best out of rappers, I can at least say that he has a knack for balancing pop and grit that most other producers lack. Simply put, the shit knocks mane – no matter who’s rapping or singing on it. Bangladesh basically throws a party across the 15 tracks. The track list shows 30 songs, but half of them are short skits featuring the most hilariously materialistic woman you never ever want to run into. As a matter of fact, the skits alone might be worth the download. She’s that funny. And if that isn’t enough for you, Bangladesh’s contact list is pretty hefty – from old favorites like Jadakiss, Pusha T and Brandy to newer names like Trinidad James and Kevin Cossom. Things slow down a bit on the last quarter with more R&B songs, but that’s probably just a matter of personal taste.

Bangladesh dropped this tape on his birthday and it’s supposed to be a preview of sorts to an actual retail project, Flowers & Candy, later this year. The album is probably gonna get pushed back a ton and eventually drop to little fanfare, but I’ll be listening. I’ll also be hoping that folks like Pusha T and anyone else that might be looking for a decent single or two contacts Bangladesh in the near future.

Download:
ZIP: Bangladesh – Ponzi Scheme (Left-Click)

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