Album Review: Bambu Gives the World “…exact change…”

September 14, 2008 · Posted in General, Music, Reviews 

Album: …exact change…
Artist: Bambu |
Release Date: September 11, 2008

Bambu has unleashed his latest musical fury with his third album “…exact change…” and adds further depth to his already vast hip-hop artistry.  One thing that really sets his songs apart from the “rap” that gets played on mainstream outlets is the wide variety of social topics he can masterfully rhyme about and still have people bob their heads to it. 

I first heard of Bambu in 2002 through a college friend who was very particular when it came to hip-hop music.  She only listened to stuff that “kept it real” to the roots of hip-hop.  My tastes are pretty close to hers so she got me a copy of Bambu’s first album “Self Untitled” which I reviewed on a previous version of  That album was a breath of fresh air as it offered a different view of things that hip-hop wasn’t talking about at that time.  With his debut album, Bambu defined himself as a rapper that was going to align his legacy with artists such as KRS-One and Chuck D – intelligent lyricists that weren’t afraid to be controversial and delivered songs with soul and meaning. 

Today’s popular rap artists can only talk about things like selling millions of records, spending lots of money, and encouraging men to look at women as “bitches.”  The sad thing is that these are the songs that sell. 

“…exact change…” breaks the modern day hip-hop mold by, ironically, being true to hip-hop’s roots.  Bambu introduces himself with the song “Spare Change” as a common person with a lot on his mind while trying to be a good father as he struggles to pay the bills. In this song, he shares his political views in hoping for a better society in the world by calling attention to the ills that plague the urban neighborhoods of America then effortlessly switches his lyrical style to rapping in Tagalog in order to speak about the poverty that affects people in the Philippines.  The track is produced by Nick James and it sets the tone for the whole album as it has all the basics of hip-hop music – solid drum beats, creative sampling, and bold lyrical delivery. 

The second track “Swing” features guest rapper Zion I and is produced by Amplive.  It is the song that closest resembles something you would hear on mainstream hip-hop radio stations and fixed up SUVs.  And even though it sounds like a nice club banger, the song is about fighting back against police brutality.  Fuckin’ awesome!

Track by track, you hear the music influences of r&b / soul rhythms, reggae, west coast gangsta rap, daisy age / abstract hip-hop, and even classic rock as Bambu samples the opening organ riff from Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” and transforms it into a commentary about hate speech, greed, and ignorance in his song “Out The Gate”.  He also samples Black Sabbath’s classic metal song “Iron Man” and flips it into a guitar fueled, flow exhibition titled “Iron Bam”.  I just wonder if he watched the movie with Robert Downey, Jr. and got inspired to write a song.

There are a lot of things to digest with this album as Bambu has an opinion on a wide array of topics and is not shy from letting you know exactly what is on his mind.  From people fronting on myspace, to the economy, to urban gangs, religion, and racism, Bambu not only shares his thoughts, he does it in different lyrical styles that really show how serious he takes his craft of being a rapper. 

The one track that stands out is “Seven Months” – a song from the perspective of a soon-to-be father as he ponders life in seven months when his child will be born.  It’s a song that, again, goes against the grain of modern day rap as it shows a man’s vulnerability while praising the virtues of being a responsible father and showing respect to women. 

“…exact change…” does exactly what its loaded title means.  It is a call for people to change society.  The songs are a statement to change the direction of hip-hop.  Bambu gives you exact change. He gives you everything he has – all his heart and soul in the form of fifteen tracks without padding it with fluff.

And if you need one more reason to get this album, track twelve is an interlude by the band with the greatest name in the Filipino American community… THE FIGHTING COCKS!!!  See, even Bambu recognizes the power of cocks. 

Buy “…exact change…” on or at Amoeba Records. 

Available on iTunes and in October 2008

Listen to tracks from “…exact change…” on Bambu’s myspace page:

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon


14 Responses to “Album Review: Bambu Gives the World “…exact change…””

  1. Noel S. Cabayo on September 15th, 2008 10:39 am

    Moonie! GREAT to find out Pinoylife is back. I’m a big fan of both Bambu and Kiwi so I look forward to getting this one.

  2. Kris P Pata on September 15th, 2008 12:51 pm

    It’s already SOLD OUT its initial run @ Amoeba Hollywood — mere days since it was released. Support our own homegrown!

  3. richard move on September 15th, 2008 3:23 pm

    i can’t wait for the “…approximate change…” megatour with opening act “2 flips and the tribal nation flipsydaz” (a.k.a. “the m7 coverboys kroo”). of course, those guys will have to take their heart and gout medication 2 hours before the show…

    just kidding – peace and jollibee kitchen grease!

    stay strong, bam! BRRRRAAAAAAATT!

  4. inuyaki on September 19th, 2008 3:35 am

    Your take on Seven Months is exactly what I was thinking when I listened to the song.

    I don’t buy much music anymore, especially hip hop, but I’ll always buy Bam’s stuff because it’s always good.

  5. Dave Jempty on September 27th, 2011 7:50 pm

    Hey, Thank you for the good writing. It in fact was a nice short read. I will come back to enjoy more of your excellent reads. By the way, how can we communicate? Thanx.

  6. a2747836 on November 4th, 2011 2:07 am

    I’ve said that least 2747836 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

  7. Doczepiane Wlosy Allegro on January 4th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  8. cheapest cafergot with overnight delivery on November 20th, 2013 4:47 am

    online glucophage canadian pharmacy cost
    amoxicillin cod no prescription
    non prescriptin cheap xanax
    buy azithromycin in Switzerland
    cheap cabergoline for sale online no prescription required
    buy dormicum in Ohio
    Where can i Buy furosemide online no prescription
    azithromycin next day no rx
    diflucan xr online diflucan and overnight
    no prescription cod azithromycin azithromycin no rx Overnight
    buy erythromycin online through paypal
    buy codest diflucan
    amitriptyline amitriptyline
    buy cephalexin no membership needed
    doxycycline without a prescriptin canadian
    cytotec with no prescriptin overnight shipping
    fucidin 175 mcg price reading
    antabuse without prescription mexico
    glucophage saturday delivery pharmacy
    buspar with next day delivery

    Feel free to visit my homepage; cheapest cafergot with overnight delivery

  9. Jasa Seo on October 8th, 2014 2:20 pm

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this
    website. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by
    you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has
    motivated me to get my own website now ;)

  10. on October 11th, 2014 7:45 pm

    Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!

  11. samsung vibrant case covers on March 17th, 2015 4:14 am

    Great weblog here! Additionally your web site loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your associate link
    on your host? I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  12. Ari on December 10th, 2015 12:01 am

    This is the best hip hop era and I think it’s because all of the artitss were just starting to come out and they were new . I miss this music

  13. minecraft on March 24th, 2019 12:40 am

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills
    as neatly as with the format for your weblog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself?

    Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to see a nice blog like this one today..

  14. minecraft on March 26th, 2019 8:07 pm

    Hi there, all the time i used to check web site posts
    here early in the dawn, because i like to find out more and more.

Leave a Reply