Kwengface’s “Brainy Bunch” Is Not All That Clever

Time and time again this year, we’ve run into a fairly typical problem from drill rappers trying to stretch their wings and gain some commercial credibility. That problem is none other than ‘afro-swing’ which has rapidly gone from a commercial hybrid of many styles that allows for wonderful songs… to the end-all be-all for anyone desperate to make a hit record when their respective catalog is considered ‘unsafe’ for radio. Already this year, the switch into the afro-swing for the sake of that pop smash has claimed Loski, 86, even LD of 67 has succumbed to the genre’s allure and nearly always it’s resulted in fairly middling tunes. However, now we have to deal with one of the most jarring and ill-fitting attempts at a afro-swing crossover yet, and that one comes from none other than Kwengface of Zone 2.

Shot in Ghana by The Prince Dolvo, “Brainy Bunch” isn’t overtly trying to be some kind of pop-minded celebration tune. Despite the exotic locale for the video, Kwengface is still as elusive and his bars are precisely what you’d expect from some of his less shimmery-sounding material. However, production veering into the commercial realm overshadows and undermines his efforts by sounding properly cheesy. A real case of trying to have one’s cake and eat it too, one gets the feeling that Kwengface is half-heartedly trying to reach for the charts, but isn’t quite interested in departing from the content and lyrics he knows people appreciate him for. Given other left turns such as this year’s “Gyallie on Me” worked fairly effectively, a record like “Brainy Bunch” feels like a step backwards for the rapper, and hopefully isn’t going to become a tradition for the rest of the group.

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September 9
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