While there work ethic of the Michigan Trap scene seems never ending, few are making albums with a heavy sense of introspection. BandGang Lonnie Bands’ enters those ranks with his new album Scorpion Eyes. His previous collab with Shredgang Mone felt like a celebration, but this album looks deeper into the struggles he feels in his position.
From the jump, he wants others to stop pretending. On “Stop Wrapping My Life (Evil Genius),” he addresses that his contemporaries aren’t as real as they claim to be. It highlights how he values his own story, knowing that not nearly as many people have seen what he has seen. He hints at his story & how he’s become who he he is on various tracks, like on “No Pillow Talkin” he claims to have been raised by real gangsters & not YouTube. Knowing he’s in a position of being one of the more notable artists in the scene, it makes you reconsider who is truly lives the lives they claim.
He details his paranoia & endless grind on “Scorpion Eyes,” making it sound like a therapy session. By the end of the song he sounds on the verge of tears, having detailed his own addictions & close friends that have been lost. Its easily the most powerful performance on the album, and a side of himself that isn’t seen often in his previous work.
BandGang Lonnie Bands – Scorpion Eyes
That isn’t to say it isn’t without its hard hitting tracks. “MarkTwain” feels close to a Zaytoven beat in its piano stylings, he flexes how he’s carved his own lane in the rap industry despite being independent. Even though his flow is more subtle than any other in the scene, tracks like “Damn My Baby” show he knows when to ramp things up. Capturing his life of robbery, he raps the dangers he finds himself in against one of the strongest Detroit beats of the year.
While the scene feels daunting, it is entirely worth getting into for artists like Lonnie Bands. Its rare you get to see so many acts crop up with such a large variety & skill set, especially seemingly all at the same time. This is easily Lonnie’s stronger releases, as Hard 2 Kill‘s lyrics didn’t feel as clear as what he brings on this album. Skipping on releases like this are not a disservice to the artist, but to yourself.