Last Tuesday, Brooklyn collective Ninjasonik released their most cohesive musical release to date, the “Darth Baño” mixtape as released by Brooklyn based but internationally recognized clothier Mishka. The year has been one of great moves for the band, as the mixtape, featuring Telli “Bathroom Sexxx” Federline’s Star Wars recalling alter ego “Darth Baño,” Jah Jah and solid production work from DJ Teenwolf amongst others cements tremendous progress for the band from being a ragged punk rock meets Digital Underground “Humpty Dance” video party time group into being something far more palatable for mainstream ears. Their rise to success has been one of intense learning, and a great “how to” for any rising act attempting to make it to the top, as their grind and hustle never really stopped, but, they keep learning what works along the way, as their live show, which has gone from being them as the perfect table setter for Philly by way of Brooklyn by way of Baltimore by way of Australia swaggerific punk act The Death Set to now, watching them perform with OG hipster Spank Rock as a headlining act, and having the talent, charisma, and yes, tracks to more than keep up, and appear quite comfortable on stage. This mixtape shows that, as well as shows the desire of the band to make it for their families, themselves, and their friends, preaching it (amongst many other concepts) on nearly every second of the mix, and in this authors mind, where there’s a will, there’s most certainly a way.
The 12 track mixtape takes you right into the heart of Ninjasonik which is to say for those without prior knowledge, that you’re seeing what would happen if you cryogenically froze the Beastie Boys two seconds after they hopped off the plane at Laguardia after the “License to Ill” tour. Yes, I know, two-thirds of the group is black, but trust, it’s an apt comparison. Actually, there’s something really magical about that, and it says something truly unique about the far reaching fringes of what we call being a “hipster,” and also the unusual state of race and influence of the 21st century. These are beer and substance soaked rhymes and beats about days in which, well it’s likely a lot more fun to see the world from an angle than to face it straight on. However, in the midst of all of that, you get the sense of the hustle that these guys have been on for almost the last decade now, trying to make it, and trying to still be comfortable and not sell out the soul of what they are as musicians for a slice of success.
From reworking Major Lazer’s “Hold the Line” into a showpiece that shows that Telli is a very serious emcee, to the collabo “The Way She Used to Give Me Head,” featuring Blaqstarr’s Issac Hayes styles crooning on the hook, to “My Kids Can’t Eat No Fame,” and the Ninjasonik anthems “Bars,” “Pregnant,” and “Tight Pants,” to featuring a number of other hustling artists, from The Death Set, to Zakee Kuduro, Maggie Horn and killer productions by the Blanco Brothers, Ninjasonik comes hard with this mixtape intended to start their drive to being successful far beyond their wildest dreams.