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Blanco: The protagonist |@blanc0b0urne

After the release of ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘Protagonist’, Blanco is back on the airwaves again, not too long after his album Rebourne. His sound has evolved over the years, and he is now a product of an array of musical influences. This is Blanco.

Blanco: The boy

Born to Angolan parents in London, he was raised on Brazilian TV and hip-hop, growing up in an era of rap pioneered by the likes of Giggs and Youngs Teflon, and later making music with Harlem Spartans, not too dissimilar to the drill scene kickstarted in Chicago in 2011, South London was a melting pot of influence for Blanco in the early days of his career.

Brazilian TV clearly has an influence on Blanco’s music

Blanco: The Spartan

He made his earliest music in Alford House, a youth centre situated near Oval, alongside Bis, TG, and the others who all had a part to play in the trailblazing years of his career. He built these friendships in this place, using the studio that didn’t allow swearing, and the other facilities. These early connections were the start of something that would put UK drill music on the global stage, the start of Harlem Spartans who later went on to get millions of views across YouTube which took Kennington worldwide at a time when police were stopping shows, and taking down music videos. They spearheaded the movement against censorship in the early years of streaming which proved to be a pivotal change in UK rap.

A second chance

After leaving prison on weapons charges, Blanco released his City Of God EP with label backed money set aside pre-incarceration. The EP included the highly successful ‘Shippuden’ and ‘The Great Escape’ featuring Central Cee. This EP as a solo artist away from Harlem Spartans proved he had loyal listeners in abundance, making him a force to be reckoned with, and solidified his name for the coming years.

Blanco is breaking the trend of UK rappers spending time behind barz

The evolution

With Loski and MizOrMac facing further jail time and Latz and Bis tragically passed away, Blanco spurred himself on to keep their name and reputation alive through his music and really make the era in which he came up in timeless, whilst also working through with his own influences to create his sound.

His debut album Rebourne was an embodiment of this. Taking the influence from the Brazilian sound he was raised on, alongside the style he was known for, it is safe to say he had fully formed into a new artist with evolved production and lyricism.

With ‘Brilliant Mind’ receiving two remixes – one with Nemzzz and another with 163Margs, Blanco was passing the torch on to two artists who can replicate both styles mirrored in this album.  

It’s safe to say the evolution of Blanco in the last 8 years is something not many can replicate and we have to respect how he has maintained longevity through the birth and “death” of drill in the UK whilst fighting through personal battles and adapting his sound.

James Woodham

Journalism student with a heavy focus on music



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