Who is Pan Amsterdam and where did he come from? According to Spotify, “We really don’t know exactly where Pan Amsterdam comes from. He was found on the coast of Miami, Florida in a state of apparent amnesia…”
I thought I had seen it all. But after listening to Pan Amsterdam and his debut album The Pocket Watch, I can honestly say that I have discovered something entirely new. From the first pulses of “The Pocket Watch,” I knew that this guy was no joke. Or maybe he’s nothing but a joke — the first track samples Christopher Walken’s famous monologue from Pulp Fiction, talking about a pocket watch going where the sun doesn’t shine, and Pan Am pleading for “less watch, more cowbell,” a call out to another famous Walken bit.
Pan Am’s beats are long references to popular culture mixed with dry humor and creative wordplay strung together. The lyrics are nothing like you’d think, they don’t really make any sense, but they sound so good together. Pan Am rants and raves to funky beats and he has flow while he does it.”Further along the coast we found a trumpet case WITH a trumpet inside of it.” We can only assume that maybe he was a jazz musician in a past life, because each of his beats revolve around the trumpet and jazz.
One of the best parts are some of his strange references to himself, and his set opinions that are truly unique. In “Landlord Elijah,” Pan Am says, “a jazz musician died, Pan Am was born.” In the song “Good Ol’ Days,” he goes on a rant about people wearing Jimi Hendrix shirts. He says that if Hendrix was alive right now, “you’d be listening to motown all day.”
The entire album is a fantastic blend of alternative hip-hop and jazz, especially the second track, “Plus One.” His music and rapping will either have you bumping your head to the beats or have you asking, “what was in my drink?” Either way, it proves that Pan Amsterdam is simply an awesome artist who makes music for the music, not the fame.
Pan Amsterdam Shows His True Self
Whoever he is, Pan Amsterdam is true to himself. His music is truly one of a kind. I’ve never seen an artist that genuinely just does his own thing. But Pan Amsterdam is truly one of the best indie rappers I’ve ever heard, and I hope that I’ll hear much more of him. Maybe it’s the fact that I have no idea who Pan Amsterdam is, or maybe he’s just that good, but Pan Am absolutely kills it in The Pocket Watch, and somehow outshines a lot of modern hip-hop artists
Maybe it’s his persona or confidence in being different. Whatever it is, I love it.