Mixtape Review: Balenciaga Banks @BalenciagaBanks – Made and Crafted

Posted: August 18, 2013 by phoenixstar9 in News


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Balenciaga Banks is back! Ok he never really left, but he has brought some new music to us with the new project, “Made and Crafted”.

Banks has stayed true to his image in his follow up to his last project, “Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams”.   The mixtape touches on Banks’ youth, growing up poor, rising above his circumstances,haters, women and more.

Balenciaga is your rapper’s rapper. The title track “Made and Crafted” is the gasoline here. “Made and Crafted” is a sincere, heavy string and sample driven introduction that sets the tone. The following bars will paint the picture for you, “How you feel about them people that came fresh up out them slums but be braggin when they make it, now what you think about the people who has been priveliged since their youth they can’t function once they lose it.”

“Drink and Clap” featuring Breezy Bernanke is sampled from the popular 50’s song, “Mambo Italiano”. I love the vibe on this track, there is a heavy club feel to the beat, on top of that after one listen, I am convinced that Banks knows how to party.

“Letting Go” isn’t a total skip, but it didn’t grab me. It was a little unexpected as the track is guided by a sample from pop group, No Doubt’s hit song “Don’t Speak”. Banks narrates a tale of indifelity and losing your best friend at the same time.

“Cool Again” featuring Audrianna Cole was on the way to losing me due to the commercial bland guitar sound. Banks’ delivery and message brought me back in, he makes it a message that many of us can relate to, wanting things to go back to the way they used to be in the “Good Old Days”, wanting things to be cool again.

“Made it” is a hustler’s anthem and a shout out to haters. Extremely catchy hook, infectious rhythm, and feel good uptempo handclaps. Banks has this smart,gritty, and assertive flow that you can hear bleeding through the speakers.

Everybody has struggles and demons that they have dealt with. On the track “Gripes”, Banks airs out his “dirty laundry”, well not totally, it really served as a venting session. This is also another favorite and Banks doesn’t forget where he came from.

“Unpolished Diamond” is clearly an outline or blueprint if you will, of Bank’s guide to success. He hits you with a more midtempo feel. He has that hunger, and he makes it known.

I think it’s safe to say that Banks is clearly making a name for himself. Runways or Concert Halls, Banks is killing them all.

About The Artist: 

DaMar Marcus-Lee Fairbanks also known by rapper name Balenciaga Banks is a Recording Artist and Fashion Designer for Perry Ellis International. Balenciaga Banks holds two associates of arts degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. Known for his work ethic the full-time fashion designer and up and coming rap artist. Balenciaga Banks is a rare talent that is building a legacy in the entertainment and fashion Industries at the same time.

MUSIC: Balenciaga Banks is not your typical rap/hip-hop emcee. Whether he’s designing clothing in his signature street-cum-country-club style or reminding the listener of early De La Soul, his music aims to fuse the gap between the underground rap scene and mainstream music. Sure, there’s the usual club fare, but there’s also a soulful element to his music, from the production to the lyrics is what sets Balenciaga Banks apart from the contemporary offerings in the hip-hop genre. There’s the inherent emotion throughout the work of the Cincinnati, Ohio rhymer, an emotion that draws the listener in, makes you believe every word. His choice of production is at once elegant rough and real, which helps Balenciaga Banks connect with the listener in a new and interesting way.

FASHION: Balenciaga Banks is a full-time fashion designer for Perry Ellis International where is specialty is menswear design. Prior to that, he was a menswear design intern for iconic fashion brand Club Monaco a division of Polo Ralph Lauren. Balenciaga Banks earned Funkshion Miami Fashion Week “Menswear Designer of the Year 2009” he’s also featured in the CFDA’s Emerging Fashion Designers Book published October 23, 2010

Needless to say, the point of view that Balenciaga Banks brings to the world of music is like no other. “ Quote from Banks “ Gaining a lot of notoriety from his locally popular single “You Mad Bro” Balenciaga Banks has performed at many events and opened for some of the biggest names in music. Recently connecting with Family Tree Entertainment’s Tiffany J. who’s company managed the careers of such names as Outkast, Cee-Lo, Frenchie Davis, Nas and super producer Bangladesh…. Balenciaga Banks future in fashion & music is heading in places that have never been seen before in history. Stay tuned


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