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Review: John Stamps and Sirius Blvck's Piggy Banx
Posted July 14, 2014 by Taylor Peters
WRITTEN BY
Taylor Peters
ON
July 14, 2014

 

There's an electrical box at the corner of State and Prospect that has John Stamps' name on it. I don't know why I'm telling you this. It feels important. If there's any justice in this world you're probably going to hear and see the guy's name a lot. First every electrical box in the city, then the world, then marquees, iPods, cereal boxes, and license plates.

 

Stamps' verses have this lyrical wag about them, like his dead serious almost growl of a voice is just about to crack a laugh. Listen, for example, how he spits out "And as your attorney I advise you not to fuckin' worry" during his verse on Siriux Blvck's "Bill Murray" (from Year of the Snvke earlier this year) and you'll get it. Better yet, watch him spit in the song's excellent video below. 

 

 

A bunch of his stuff's on MFT now, too so you can see his name here on his profile, too. You can scope last year's Piggy Banx, 2012's Peaces (embedded below), and a slew of extras. 

 

 

It's all good, but Piggy Banx man, that's the one that I've got queued up to bump any time I move more than five feet from my front door. It's a collaborative release with Sirius Blvck featuring production by KNAG$. At only 20 minutes, it's a tight singular little thing. No fat. All bangers. KNAG$' wobbly trap-inflected production skitter-pulses forward while Stamps and Blvck tumble over each other in loping onward motion. Forward, always forward. 

 

The title track "Piggy Banx" kicks off with a screwed sample of Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption talking about rehabilitation. Freeman's voice takes a nose dive as he asks "Am I sorry for what I did?" and Stamps cackles as the air gets sucked out of the beat. After that it's all kick and snare as Stamps spins off a tale of a run-in with the cops. It's a small but vital moment, a rush of surprise. 

 

 

Piggy Banx is full of moments like this, small flairs in the composition, the production, or rapping. It's not showy, it's just good. There's a moment about half way through "JFK Was Cool" where the tempo notches down a few BPM out of nowhere. The song keeps going, but the listener gets left behind for a second. Again, it's that little pop of a surprise that keeps the tracks on Piggy Banx tunelling into the ears. 

 

That tempo shift in "JFK Was Cool" gives Sirius the faster part of the track and Stamps the slower half, which fits each MC perfectly: Sirius is all tight wound energy where Stamps usually lays back a bit more, swaggering. Across Piggy Banx, Blvck and Stamps display a clear sense not only of their individual strengths, but of how they can use those strengths to reinforce and support each other; it's all about the interplay. Add to that KNAG$' irreducibly heavy production and a couple of clutch features from Ajene the God and Freddie Bunz, and Piggy Banx practically screams "do not sleep on me!" 

 

 

This weekend, Stamps is planning to pop off the Ghost Gun Summer Vacation Tour with Oreo Jones, Sirius, Freddie Bunz, Grey Grantie, and DJ Txtbook. The group will come back through Indianapolis on July 31 for a date at General Public - you can check the full listing of dates right here. 

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