Not since the peak era in rock n’ roll history has a genre been as polarizing and culture-shaping as hip-hop is, and with his new single and music video “Papa,” Ricci Bamboo is looking to put his own stamp on the style through a series of poetic emissions few in his scene can stand up to. Instead of centering this single on a hook, “Papa” is a song built on its verses and the melodic tethering between their sentiments and the rhythm of the track as a whole, giving us a tremendous amount of insight into who this player is as a songwriter as well as a performer.
Every part of “Papa” features a rather simplistic angle, but I would stop short of calling this a minimalistic work on the part of its creator. There’s not a doubt in my mind that Ricci Bamboo is putting a lot of oomph into this vocal, and there are few moments in which he isn’t captivating the audience with a charisma that runs from his tone straight into the words he’s rapping so elegantly beside the beat. His investment in the narrative is obvious but never overstated for the sake of a theme.
The ego-centric stylization of self in hip-hop has mostly evaporated from mainstream airwaves in the past ten years, but this isn’t to say indulgence is entirely missing from the rap spectrum right now – although it’s nowhere to be found in “Papa.” Strikingly self-aware, there’s never a moment where it sounds like Ricci Bamboo is playing to a persona he’s created inside of the recording studio, and his lack of interest in the pomp and frills a lot of his contemporaries build their careers on alone is something that feeds into the natural (and well-earned) swagger of his delivery at the microphone.
This is quite a statement single for Ricci Bamboo, and while there’s still a lot of work to be done on his part when it comes to developing the crossover appeal fostered in hooks like the one we’re hearing in “Papa,” you can’t deny that this is a player with a grand plan worth following right now. His new single is straightforward and to the point, but for all that it lacks in excesses best kept in pop music to begin with, he’s compensating with feverish creativity that has even more potential lying in front of it in future releases.