REVIEW: South London’s Blanco Unveils Highly Awaited Mixtape ‘City Of God’

Casey Dorney

By Casey Dorney

Casey Dorney

20 Aug 2021

A clear representation of the admirable growth we have witnessed from his youth to now, a constantly growing artistry – South London native Blanco levels up with highly awaited ‘City Of God’ mixtape. Standing as a contributing pioneer to the rise of UK drill in 2016-17 alongside Kennington collective Harlem Spartans, Blanco’s past and present demonstration within music has made a significant, notable impact each and every time. Venturing into his own journey, taking an independent route – Blanco’s expression through experimenting with new sounds on production, specifically Brazilian funk; deriving predominately from his Portuguese origin – grasped audiences attention due to its instant difference and distinctiveness in comparison to a lot of current sounds in the scene.

Previous singles including “Ringtone”, “Shippūden” and “Anakin” proved Blanco’s organic talent, carried through his uniquely slick delivery. ‘City Of God’ shows the entirety of Blanco’s developed artistry and multi-faceted, well-roundedness as an admired yet still progressing artist. Breaking into the project with a 2-minute intro titled ‘Pain’, Blanco raps with conviction on an almost spiritual production by The Elements, setting the vibe for the remainder of the tape. Besides the stand out tracks we’ve heard already including hits like “The Great Escape” featuring thriving rapper Central Cee, “Surveillance” with East London collective NSG and head-bopper “Magneto”, Blanco provides a refreshing delivery with a range of new songs.

Offering a sense of familiarity in flows and production on “Asura & Indra”, “Time Out”, “Fala” and “TSG”, Blanco heavily sticks to this formula as it remains both successful and favoured by audiences. “Dennis Rodman” and “Itachi” both present Blanco’s inevitable ability to retract back to his original drill sound, not to mention the incredible link up on “Cerberus” with close friend Loski and K-Trap too.

Blanco provides a satisfying split of variance throughout the mixtape, experimenting with his sound on the final two tracks “Too Late” featuring UK songstress Ama Lou, followed by outro track “Safe Space”. Laying down an emotive delivery, based around female encounters – Blanco’s credibility expands through his willingness to branch out, exceeding peoples expectations with new and improved sounds. The fluidity of the 14-track mixtape is apparent, as it flows from “Pain” to “Safe Space” touching on past experiences and life situations. Passing through a variety of phases of flows, effortlessly reflects the growth from young to current Blanco.

The conceptual thought and execution behind the making of this project illuminates when taking the time to understand Blanco as a person, his artistry and delivery. On a wide scale, ‘City Of God’ represents Blanco’s background through Brazilian/Portuguese film, reflective of both the tape’s production and the contextual elements of pain and struggle growing up, embedded within the lyrics. A highly awaited mixtape has been provided and it was worth the wait, without a doubt.

Tap in to Blanco – “City Of God” – Out now and available to stream on all platforms.