Nana Bangz – “Alive”


Evolving from soulful nostalgia into a hard-hitting hip-hop energy, “Alive” is a new single from Dallas-based rapper Nana Bangz. ’90s rap influences like Lil Kim and Missy Elliott are evident in the riveting vocal lead especially, complementing a diverse production that embraces throwback samples — in both the jazz/doo-wop and soul-pop veins — in addition to a variety of atmospheric beats.

From soulful samples to deliciously unsettling rap segments, “Alive” makes for a compelling listening sequence. The Seals and Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” sample is beautifully infused at the track’s mid-point, providing a lushly entrancing break between intense hip-hop captivation. A foreboding string-laden “bout to fuck ’em up,” menacing takes hold thereafter; this particular minute is thoroughly impressive in its eclectic range, from balmy soulful nostalgia to an ominous rapping charisma. “Alive” is a showcase in eclectic structural charms and a strikingly dynamic vocal performance from Nana Bangz.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Hip-Hop.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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