Never let it be said that rapper BNC a.k.a Bruises N Cuts isn’t versatile. He’s done hip-hop, he’s done reggae and on The Bonnie & Clyde Syndrome he turns his hand to that very ’00s-style soundclash of hip-hop and neo-soul. Seven of ten tracks find the Santo Domingo-born MC paired with the cream of Athenian female singers in an exploration of the love and heartbreak that nods at, by turns, the legacy of the Fugees, Common, Lil Kim, Warren G and The Neptunes and forms something of a companion release to Irene’s Time 2 Love effort from back in the autumn – also on the Mind The Wax label.
Having said that, one of the most striking tracks is the heavy electronica of opener No More Tears, rich in epic Vangelis-style synth chords and providing a convincing sense of what Cannibal Ox might have sounded like if they’d ever been tempted by the contemporary R&B dollar – now there’s a concept to conjure with! Second cut Electrify featuring Nalyssah Green is perhaps more typical of the LP in general based around a squelchy uptempo funk beat that The Neptunes would’ve been happy to knock out for Kelis about fifteen years ago. Sugahspank turns up on the more sparsely orchestrated electro-funk of I’m So Sorry but if someone told you Pharrell had written and produced this – again you wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Supamodel goes a bit more Common while the Irene-featuring For Your Love is, as you might expect by her presence rather Mary J Blige-ish. The influences and inspirations come thick and fast in the second half two with elements of both Spooks and Erykah Badu creeping into Losing Game a rather Timbaland-ish beat on Sidekick featuring Idra Kayne. If you in any way dig that sound that kicked off round about ’98/ ’99 with the likes of The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill and Baduizm and died round about a decade later when Kanye and The Black Eyed Peas killed hip-hop and auto-tune became ubiquitous, this is going to be right up your alley!
(Out now on Mind The Wax)