In Banks, The Year of The Savage, you get 13 songs that run about 50 minutes long. The production on the project doesn’t really differentiate from track to track. Many people will see this as a pitfall but for the young Banks it works in his favor. The reason why it works in his favor is because the production sounding related makes the project sound collective and unified as a whole. The production sounds grimy, gruff, and bass heavy which parallels Banks theme of “savage” really well. And this works to Banks advantage as he merely destroys every beat on this project with his ferocious and concentrated flow.
Furthermore, in the song “Buku” Banks murders the track as he delivers some impressive bars over a hard-knocking beat. He states “Oh, Dick made her jump, she surprised… She had to look at it twice like a Vine.” Banks also realizes and is completely aware that he is rising in the ranks as an artist and that he may not be able to be even referred to as underground anymore. Banks flows “And you give me yo' face, I'll give you this nut…And I swear that the underground do not deserve me….Go mainstream leave my fans disappointed.” Banks doesn’t hold back not even a little bit as he reveals obscene bar after obscene bar. Also, at the end of the song, there is a sound bite of an interview of him with DJ Vlad where he talks about being kicked out of school, Banks with this sound bite just further exemplifies his uncaring and indifferent attitude that he possesses throughout the entirety of the song.
In the song “Half Bae” featurimg Pouya, Banks and Pouya split verses, switching after every few lines, and for the most part it is executed extremely well(except for when the alter of appearance is too inconsistent that it can be distracting). Banks and Pouya sound comfortable together on this track as they complement each other’s flows very nicely. Banks possesses an attitude of assurance while Pouya raps with a Bone Thugs N Harmony type flow. In “Wit” Banks owns the track, switching up flows so smoothly that they just seem to happen completely spontaneously. The hook is so catchy that it could exist by its own without Banks including his passionate verses. The song is a sure banger as Banks repeats “Who you wit, gone tell me who wit, tell me who you wit.”
Moreover, the song “Ca2ie” featuring Young Neil is probably the best on the whole entire album, from the production to Banks nostalgic bars as he flows on the hook “I’m going to make you feel it.” Banks is relaxed on the track as he lust after this woman he really desires. The beginning of the track has some real ethereal production, being one of the standalone tracks production wise on the whole project. When the Aaliyah “Are you that Somebody” sample comes in, the song develops a different tone afterwards as Banks becomes more arrogant as he flows “I f***ck your girlfiend, hit it and spilt it until the world end.”
The most peculiar track on the project is “Phone Sex” featuring Lucki Eck$, the song seems to be probably the only song that doesn’t seem to fit holistically with the rest of the album. The track is good and Banks and Eck$ sound like they appreciate each other’s sound but it seems much too tone down for Banks taste, this seems to belong more to Eck$ than Banks but the track is still solid and an enjoyable listen.
Banks has proven himself and from this album it appears like he want to prove himself even more. The album reflects Banks has diversified his sound and is improving incessantly. Even though many may see him as “too mainstream”, Banks shows that he can appeal to both crowds, the underground and the mainstream by staying true to his roots and making sure he informs people of where he comes from and where he is going.