Jenkins, right, and Pink Dolphin's Cena Barhaghi / Photos by Justin Staple
Since the shadowy lo-fi journey of last year’s project Black Bart 1, Keith Jenkins (f.k.a. Stunnaman of legendary crew The Pack) has been hard at work piecing together a sequel that could encapsulate the full mischievousness of his daily antics. The brand new Black Bart 2 EP is just that; a symbol of the freedom that comes from his current status in the Bay Area musical pantheon. Since his Wolfpack days, Keith has proven himself as a lyrical maverick. Here he shows he can bounce between big-room trap bangers and hazy melodic experimentation, in which the raps themselves are pushed behind heavy production from rising producer Jakegoesdigital, who handles production for the entire release.
The Black Bart, much like it’s Simpsons counterpart, is Keith’s disobedient and rowdy persona. Sometimes impish, usually dual-sided, the persona is at full force in the new EP, guiding us through a trap wonderland filled with women, drugs, and hustling that could only be fully realized when set in the confines of the hyphy scene's birthplaces of Oakland and Berkeley. Keith has fully embraced what makes him great and inventive, setting himself up to be the summer's trap soundtrack with the help of guests Lil B, iLoveMakonnenen, and Larry June. The EP remains true to Black Bart's dark origins with tracks like "Put Em In A Coffin" and "Mike Vick" but also provides self-motivating do-it-yourself hits like "Self Made" where the refrain “made myself a boss” describes Keith’s decision to stay independent and build his empire by his own means.
The outcome is a refreshing departure from the usual formulaic, label-envisioned trap release. It was pieced and financed by Keith himself between sessions in studios in Oakland and Los Angeles throughout the year. By the end of Black Bart 2 you’ll be fired up to hit the streets and hustle harder yourself. Oh, and just in case that wasn't enough good news, Jenkins has also let us know that a full Pack reunion EP is on the way, and they’re working on it now.
Check out Black Bart 2, exclusively on Noisey, below:
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