Bangerville Loyal to the Lifestyle

The end of Angerville was evident in their last album, Warfare, which was essentially a Fortunato solo album in all but name. With the break-up now official, Conscious Thought follows not with his long awaited solo album, instead teaming with fellow street rappers Acetik and T-Gramz to form Bangerville. Unfortunately, their debut album lacks the emotional depth and humanity Fortunato brought to Angerville — the emphasis is more on drug-dealing raps and bang-bang braggadocio. The exception is "Happiness," a Conscious Thought solo track that declares his disappointment for missed opportunities for happiness due to "the everyday hustle." There's also an overabundant use of gay slurs, which is de rigueur for this type of music, and the intro track drags with a welcoming speech that's too long, even over a beat. With that said, Loyal to the Lifestyle is still a solid album of Toronto street raps. Conscious Thought has a way with words and a tight delivery that help him stand out, while new rhyme partner Acetick holds his own alongside the veteran rapper. Most tracks feature the two MCs, often assisted by guests or T-Gramz dropping the odd verse. The beats, from a mix of producers, are underground, East coast boom-bap with numerous sped-up soul vocals. Aside from the intro, there's little need to skip forward, and "One Drop," "Bang Bang Boogie" and "Just the Other Day" will inspire rewinds, while "Broken Ties" addresses the break-up of Angerville amongst other verses of betrayal. Loyal to the Lifestyle is street rap done right, but it could use more numbers like Conscious Thought's "Dear Dad," from Angerville's Rebellion. (Independent)