Hip Hop Album Reviews (07/2015)

Bamboo Fortunes

Bamboo Fortunes

The Bamboo Fortunes cover art
Bamboo Fortunes cover art

An album by ThatKidCry

Review presented by Warren Peace

Listen to Bamboo Fortunes by ThatKidCry.

Any artist(s) interested in having a review done should check out the offers provided by The Write Reviews or contact Warren Peace.


The Intro

I was first introduced to ThatKidCry through a song that was posted on Facebook. The west coast artist’s style reminded me of Common and Mos Def, to a degree. I found a link to more of his music and enjoyed the tracks I heard. Bamboo Fortunes is the first complete album I have heard from ThatKidCry, and I’m eager to check out his work. Let’s find out what Bamboo Fortunes is all about.


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The Album

1- Chicken Soup

Everything begins with a nice, fast paced beat with a bouncy feel to it. The more I listen to this song, the more I like it as an opening track for Bamboo Fortunes. ThatKidCry brings a flow he makes his own, intelligent metaphors, and involves wordplay through his non-traditional rhyme scheme. He delivers line after line with an incredible vocabulary without hitting a chorus. Chicken Soup makes the Featured Tracks list from the jump.

2- Do Me For

Really enjoying the rock appeal of this track with a slower approach that the audience hears on Chicken Soup. Even ThatKidCry has a rock sound to his vocals. The chorus is pretty repetitive, which can be good or bad. ThatKidCry’s lyrics are aimed at his critics and competitors mainly, letting them know there’s nothing they can really do for him and he doesn’t really want anything to do with them. An interesting sound and style overall on this one. A solid addition to the album.

3- Eligh

This instrumental has a steady rhythm that easily gets the audience to move with the music. This track has a positive feeling about it lyrically as ThatKidCry speaks about his son and his son’s mother, and the positive effects they have on him. Using metaphors to deliver his message, ThatKidCry gives the audience a couple of thought provoking verses with a catchy chorus that fans are sure to enjoy. Another solid addition to Bamboo Fortunes.

4- Help Me feat. Essence

Help Me starts off slowly, introducing the rhythm of the drums before anything. The beat is a calmer, but semi-fast, style that shouldn’t have any issues connecting with the listeners. ThatKidCry is on the first verse and gives the audience metaphor after metaphor once again. His flow and delivery are on point, and have been throughout the album up to the point. ThatKidCry is showing everyone he has a knack for bringing a soft spoken chorus that can easily get stuck in your head. Lady Essence has a fantastic verse, also bringing metaphors in her lyrics but showcasing a stellar flow loaded with multiple syllable rhymes. Help Me is the second song on Bamboo Fortunes to hit the Featured Tracks list.

5- Banksy

I really like the instrumental on the fifth track of the album. The intro is different than what we have heard in previous tracks, with different people speaking about Banksy. ThatKidCry continues to display a large vocabulary. The message brought to the audience is mainly about taking the information given to you and actually doing something with it, instead of being given information but still allowing other people to influence your beliefs and actions. Although Im not a fan of so many back to back songs with two verses, shortened from the typical song format, I would have to say Banksy is right up there with Chicken Soup as my favorite track on Bamboo Fortunes thus far. Here’s another addition to the Featured Tracks.

6- Kicking Pavement (Keep It Moving)

Another slower paced beat, this track switches up the feeling of the instrumental by bringing a more relaxed vibe to the table. ThatKidCry brings another great message to the audience through his lyrics. Within his verses, ThatKidCry tells the audience they should be able to put their all into whatever their passion may be, and shouldn’t let anyone hold them back from doing so. He even mentions how he is lucky to have a lady that is understanding when it comes to ThatKidCry’s love of making music and the money and time making music takes away from them now is meant to help them do better in the future. Once again, Im not a huge fan of shorter songs back to back (which has been continuous for several tracks now), but Kicking Pavement (Keep It Moving) is has a great message that’s well delivered by ThatKidCry and is lyrically sound from beginning to end. The total number of Featured Tracks for Bamboo Fortunes just grew by one more.

7- Bamboo Fortunes 

ThatKidCry continues to impress me with the messages he brings through his lyrics Bamboo Fortunes is easily my favorite song of the album at this point. The audience will find themselves moving to the music almost instantly, as the beat has a  contagious, bouncy feel to it with a slight dark undertone to it. ThatKidCry kicks off the song with another catchy chorus, but the chorus here raises the bar yet again by having more emotion in the deliver, which will make it more likely to connect with listeners. Yet again we are given a two verse track and, in my opinion, Bamboo Fortunes is such a great song that it deserves a third verse. Ill be recommending this song first whenever I get a chance to play this album for anyone. It’s probably needless to say Bamboo Fortunes makes the Featured Tracks list.

8- Oh My feat. Bmbu

The instrumental here has more of a somber approach, but still has a head nodding rhythm. ThatKidCry comes through the speakers on the first verse, delivering his extended vocabulary with his easy to follow flow. I feel this isn’t one of his strongest verses though, due to the seemingly lack of emotion in his verse. On the chorus, ThatKidCry is able to bring more emotion in the lyrics. Bmbu has the second verse and continues ThatKidCry’s lead by speaking about struggling to be successful instead of fighting to make it through life’s obstacles. Another shorter song in succession, making this the fifth or sixth in a row now, has me shaking my head a bit, I have to admit. Bmbu also seems to be lacking a bit of emotion in his verse on Oh My. I feel like more conviction would make a huge difference here.

9- Plastic God

Guess what? If you said another two verse track, you’re RIGHT!  I know, I know…it shouldn’t matter to me, but here’s the issue: Plastic God is another song on Bamboo Fortunes that I really enjoy and feel deserves a third verse. The beat is kind of simple, allowing ThatKidCry’s flow and delivery to stand out even more than usual. His vocabulary and metaphors continue from previous tracks to Plastic God. As you can guess, this song is about fake people and the emptiness engulfing the world. Plastic God has another great message people need to hear, and is another addition to the Featured Tracks list.

10- The Further

Another slower, simple styled beat. At this point the instrumentals are starting to sound very similar. While The Further has another solid message from ThatKidCry, it also seems to blend a few previous messages heard in earlier tracks, and the chorus even sounds pretty similar to earlier hooks. Good song, but this deep into the album, it seems like the creativity is starting to run a bit dry. Oh, and The Further is yet another shorter song with only two verses.

11- The Killer feat. Elton Cray

This has a slower paced beat as well, but brings a funky, jazzy type of spice that is refreshing to hear. Bringing more of a bouncy vibe throughout the entire track than the audience has experienced with earlier songs, ThatKidCry enters on The Killer with positive lyrics and a flow that’s on point. I really enjoy the chorus, very catchy and appealing. Elton Cray’s verse seems to deviate from ThatKidCry’s, as far as topic and the positive approach ThatKidCry originally brought to the track. Still, The Killer is a good addition to the album.

12- Unforgettable

The instrumental has bounce to it and is a song I wouldn’t be surprised to hear on the radio as I drive down the street one day. ThatKidCry’s lyrics even carry some bounce in them, and the audience won’t have a problem catching his contagious energy. Lyrically, Unforgettable is for the ladies. Positive comments and uplifting words fill ThatKidCry’s verses. The hook completes the song. It’s catchy, smooth flowing, and will have female fans repeating it constantly. There are only two verses on Unforgettable, just like more than a few of the previous tracks, but the verses here are longer than standard hip hop verses, so there isn’t really a feeling of the song being short here. Unforgettable is a track Ill be putting in rotation, and adding to the Featured Tracks.

13- Absentia

A slow paced beat, with a relaxed vibe, begins bringing the album to a close. The lyrics are centered around feelings of being lost and trying to help people come together, but not seeming to have exactly everything needed for the job. The chorus definitely assists in creating the mood and bringing both the verses together. A solid song to end Bamboo Fortunes.


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Featured Tracks

Chicken Soup, Help Me, Banksy, Kicking Pavement (Keep It Moving), Plastic God, and Unforgettable.


The Write Up

In a single sentence, I will say ThatKidCry impressed me with Bamboo Fortunes. Many great songs with very real and positive messages. His flow is on point through 99% of the album. His vocabulary, metaphors, and imagery will not have a problem giving listeners something to think about. Though punchlines and wordplay aren’t huge contributors in ThatKidCry’s writing, Bamboo Fortunes doesn’t really miss those lyrical elements. The metaphors can sometimes be a bit too much, losing the audience or making it difficult to understand where ThatKidCry is coming from. The music is easy to move to, with the downside being the same vibe comes through on a majority of the songs. Overall, though, Bamboo Fortunes is a good album that many people are bound to appreciate, connect to, and relate with.


Star Status

★★★.5

(3.5 out of 5 stars)

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