Bandman Kevo was one of the earliest Chicago rappers to watch out for in 2013 and he’s rapidly been bubbling out of his region. The World Star Hip-Hop friendly rapper grabbed the attention of many with “All Foreign,” which also featured a collaboration with Soulja Boy. To show that song wasn’t a fluke, Kevo followed up with “Baller In Me” featuring Chief Keef. With both songs racking over 100,000 views on YouTube, he’s looking to satisfy his growing fanbase through his debut mixtape Fast Life.
Conceptually, the music lives up to the title of the project, as the 24-year-old MC guides you into the extravagant nightlife of Chicago. Tracks like “Baller In Me” and “Who Is Dat” are tales of Bandman discussing fast cars and women. At the same time, Kevo also discusses the dark underworld of Chiraq that’s shown through tracks like “Use 2 Be.” The balancing act is done well as he’s able to find the sweet spot on the tape.
Chicago’s drill music scene has built reputation of relying on dominant drums and violent lyrics. Despite being so young in his career, Kevo exhibits poise on Fast Life, differentiating himself by boasting about his materialistic possessions. One of the standouts is “Wonna Be,” which features budding Chicago rapper King Louie. On the track, Kevo calls out all imposters with a melodic hook: “Boy you broke, you say you be getting money you a wonna be/She a thot, she think she bad but she’s a wonna be/ I got cash, I rock foreign cars if you wanna see/Check out back, and them goons I roll with they a hundred deep.”
In regards to production, the midwest MC exhibits a fine tuned ear choosing quality beats that mesh well with his evolving sound. Kevo cultivates the majority of the soundscapes for this project from his in-house production team, Bandklan Entertainment. “Use To Be” is a ferocious beat fusing a heavy bass and sharp snare.Overall, Kevo does a great job of holding your attention with his beat selection that makes it enjoyable.
Fast Life is a tape that introduces Bandman Kevo to mainstream hip-hop enthusiasts. While many assume drill music is only meant to discuss drugs and gang violence, Kevo chooses to spend his time discussing the top tier lifestyle of those winning from his city. Although he’s still in the early stages of becoming a rap star, Fast Life is a step in the right direction.—Christian Mordi