The undisputed face of Jersey Club, Bandmanrill officially arrived this week with the release of his debut project, Club Godfather.
Over the past year, Newark’s Bandmanrill has put the Garden State on his back by inventing an entirely new sub-genre born out of New Jersey’s particular style of regional club music. This past week, he claimed his rightful place on the throne as the Club Godfather with his debut body of work.
With Club Godfather, fans get their first look at a full project from Bandmanrill, who up until this point has managed to build a loyal following with a fierce appetite for his original Jersey Club sound off singles alone. As always, the project showcases his punchy energetic flow, unapologetic bars, and of course the genre-defining, bass-bumping production of McVertt.
With 13 tracks, the tape is split between new offerings and popular previous releases, including two songs with Bronx Drill phenom and frequent collaborator, Sha EK. The pair of rising stars have repeatedly made the BX-to-NJ connection with well-received, high-energy collabs like “Jiggy In Jersey” (Parts 1 and 2) and “Who You Touch.”
There are also fresh features from NLE Choppa, trying his hand over Jersey Club production on “BOUNCIN’,” Lay Bankz adding a softer touch on “PIANO,” and Skaiwater blending his complimentary dance-first style for one of the project’s early standout tracks, “Beautiful Diamonds” – their second collab following their recent link up for a Jersey Club remix of Skai’s viral hit “#miles” along with fellow NJ-native Riovaz.
In addition to popular previous releases featuring his signature Jersey Club like “INFLUENCE,” “COPY AND PASTE” and “REAL HIPS” – which was accompanied by a show-stopping music video that literally shut down the Jersey Shore – Bandman also experimented with some new sounds. On tracks like “KNOCKIN” and “TELL ME SOMETHING,” you can hear the combination of the distinct sounds of NYC Drill and Jersey Club. On “DON’T MIX,” he lowers the BPM from his normally rapidfire pace to rap over a (distinctly non-Jersey) club beat. And on “BEAUTIFUL DIAMONDS,” Bandman presents what may be his most polished track to date, assisted by the gentle melodic vocal of Skaiwater and a dream production tag-team from two of the hottest rising producers out of the tri-state in A Lau and McVertt.
As a Jersey boy myself, I’ve been closely following Bandmanrill ever since he first debuted his patented Jersey Club sound early in 2021 with his breakout hit “Heartbroken” – a full year before Drake or Beyoncé jumped on the now booming dance-music trend.
For high school and college students in NJ, it’s nearly impossible to escape the high-energy dance mixes and signature dance moves of Jersey Club. To see a young talented artist like Bandman making waves is rare treat for Jerseyans, but the fact that he’s built his brand on elevating the state’s niche signature sound is truly something special.
Beyond the special place in his home state’s heart, Bandmanrill is part of a larger wave of young artists putting the fun back in east coast hip hop. His fun and wholly original sound feels like a breath of fresh air in an increasingly dark and homogenous music landscape. From NYC’s Cash Cobain and Chow Lee’s sexy take on the drill sound to Philly’s fun-loving 2Rare and DSturdy, Bandman has undoubtedly been a major force in sparking a wave of high-energy, lighthearted hip hop infused with dance music. The trend that has not only gone viral, its piqued the interest of two of the biggest stars on the planet, resulting in two fully “dance” albums in RENAISSANCE and Honestly, Nevermind this year.
Much like when Bandman’s “Heartbroken” first dropped last year, the club-infused style may have had people scratching their heads at first, but in reflecting on the newly emerging dance era, history will have no choice but to credit Bandmanrill as one of its most important founding fathers. At this point, we might as well get used to calling him the Club Godfather.
Listen to Bandmanrill’s debut project ‘Club Godfather’ below