Photo credit: Fat Panda Tuan
(AllHipHop Music) Hip Hop is at a very transitional period right now. If I had to describe it’s the current state of Hip Hop in one word, I would say experimental.
Emerging rappers are playing with sound sounds of country, rock, jazz, and of course R&B.
Fat Panda Tuan has rightfully solidified his place among these up-and-coming creative rappers with his most recent album ‘Shinobi Tempura.’
The album dropped June of 2018, however many of the songs are still relevant, for example, “Montblanc Booty” and “Ricky the Ruler” still sound good.
In an interview with Muzique Magazine, Fat Panda said his music is mostly influenced by southern bounce style seen in artists like Lil’ Wayne, with some East Coast influence as well.
It makes sense that Fat Panda Tuan credits the East Coast with influencing his music.
After being born in Saigon Japan, Tuan was raised in Germantown, Maryland, and Maryland sits between the South and the East Coast.
His recent album ‘Shinobi Tempura’ is a perfect mix of party music and chill vibes.
14 tracks and each one has it’s own sound. The album opens with a sample from Disney’s classic Aladdin.
The classic scene when Aladdin takes Jasmine on her first magic carpet ride asking, “Do you trust me?”
It’s a pretty sweet and strong opening, and a very unique vibe as well as an entry into his world.
The samples of Disney movies throughout the album will sit well with any millennial because we grew up on those movies. With that first track, “Tonight,” the album opens up strong. The song bangs with an upbeat tempo, hard base, and trap-like sound.
“Montblanc Booty” is the Signature track on ‘Shinobi Tempura.’ The beat on Montblanc Booty alone makes it an instant party classic.
It’s a Friday/Saturday night jam. The up-tempo beat makes it easy to dance to. The lyrics make it easy to stunt whether in your ride or as an Instagram post caption. Does a rap hit really need more to bang in the club?
Aside from the American influences of rap and Disney movies, Tuan includes a lot of cultural pride in Shinobi Tempura. Along with references to Vietnamese culture, there’s lots of reference to Japanese culture as well.
Food, music, video games are all points of reference. Fat Panda Tuan also spent time as a personal trainer, which makes sense why his music has that go hard or go home feel. It’s great for the gym or pulling up hard body in the old school whip. From Saigon to Germantown, Maryland you can feel the influence in Tuan’s gritty nature.
Happy ending features a sample From ‘Beauty And The Beast.’ It’s smooth and melodic, even a little jazzy and could be considered a love song.
At least one love song is a must have for any rap album. This cut made for the ladies features raps about Tuan’s leading lady. The song ends with a sweet R&B Sample. Rap bangers like “The Kitchen” could easily be seen on an HBO series like Insecure.
Tuan’s love of music shines through on the album. It’s no surprise he came from a musical family with a father who played the guitar and keyboard. Tuan’s Vietnamese American roots are prevalent in the album’s track titles as well as the lyrics which I like. Rap and Hip Hop are all about being authentic, and without authenticity, an artist will get rejected. Fat Panda Tuan has seemed to have found a good balance of repping his Vietnamese culture and still grabbing mainstream attention.
It’s worth mentioning that since Fat Panda Tuan’s debut of ‘Shinobi Tempura,’ he’s since released a single titled “Atari.” If you haven’t yet heard it, you’re missing out.
Some songs you hear and immediately know you can turn up to it. “Atari” is without question one of those tracks.
It’s going to be fun watching Fat Panda Tuan grow as an artist and continue to get in his bag. If you haven’t already, check him out on Spotify and follow him on Instagram.