BANTU is an MC from Pretoria capable of being an equally good rapper, singer and musician. He showcased all three abilities consistently through his 4 song EP, “"Befor3 the intro". Murder is the first track off of it and he displays his lyrical ability with only one objective in mind – murdering his competition.
The song features Papa BK, an affiliate of the "Seventh State" collective, who has worked often with BANTU in the past. The song also features Keye, who is similarly known for working closely with BANTU and Papa Bk. The track begins with a dark ringing sound which immediately creates feelings of eeriness and suspense. The production relies on minor and diminished chords, discord and dark tonality alongside a lack of tonal resolution thus creating tension and an eerie feeling. The production is fitting of the song’s title. It’s a great foundation for BANTU and his collaborators to kill the beat and their competitors simultaneously.
The song begins with Papa BK. He enters the track aggressively with a fast flow and hard hitting bars filled. His rhyme schemes and punchline structure is largely reminiscent of Lil Wayne’s guest verses during his peak. A 32 bar lyrical onslaught. The bass matches his tempo as he rhymes well with a confident delivery accompanied by good diction, high rhyme density and great wordplay. Papa BK goes from cynical to humorous within seconds. Entendres on entendres accompanied by great rhyme schemes and a confident delivery that makes everything come off as easy.
"Sent (Scent) to the bank, now the money's my fragrance."
"This fire I'll spit it, this wire I'll clip it, this money I'll get it."
"My words, they be flyer than pilots on acid."
Papa BK sets the tone. The song is further enhanced by a catchy hook performed by Papa BK (with Keye and BANTU providing background vocals). The hook is engaging and enjoyable while falling within the dark nature of the song and his extreme self-belief in his ability. The second verse is performed by Keye. He adds his own style to the song and ensures it’s a versatile and enjoyable as he slows the flow down and incorporates Spitori while maintaining the same energy and charisma as before. It’s a good lyrically exhibition illustrating his sharp delivery, heavy internal-rhyme schemes and wordplay.
"My zero's athletic, they jumping these commas. Guess re no tswana, I'm jumping the drama. What goes around comes around just like your daughter."
Midway through his verse, there's a transition that allows all three rappers the chance to exchange bars and go back-and-forth. They rhyme eloquently without going off beat, remaining impressive lyrically and sounding cohesive. This is a hard feat to accomplish but they managed to make it look simple. It was fine illustration of their chemistry and highlights their individual and collective ability. After the hook is repeated, we're finally introduced to BANTU's verse.
His flow and lyrical quality is clearly less potent than his counter-parts but as he progresses, he manages to show signs of improvement. His verse is decent and compliments the two heavyweight verses. He drops the occasional punchline such as, “Don't mess with the cops, the risk is too big and the sentence is long." Furthermore, his verse is generally enjoyable and easy to remember due his delivery style and use of anaphora.
In its entirety, "Murder" is a good song throughout. The production is great while the MCs show that they are capable through their sharp delivery and high level of lyricism in general. The song is also generally enjoyable and demands high replay value as it’s suitable for most environments. Although having flaws (some bars off beat and some are somewhat corny) but for the vast majority of the song, the lyricism is consistently impressive while the delivery styles and production delivers on the song’s promise.