A review of Paco Panama's newest project Southside Sopranos

Written by: Martin Sakansong

Edited by: Amari Newman


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Southeast DC big-timer Paco Panama just dropped his new 22-track album, Southside Sopranos

This might be the hardest tape out of DC this year

Throughout the album are odes and references to the infamous TV show The Sopranos and the reign of Tony Soprano. From the moolinyan Intro and Outro, to bars about needing a real Carmela to hold him down like Tony.

Paco is all hustle and no bullshit. His simplistic, yet shifty lyrics are as informative as they are entertaining. Southside Sopranos is a classy and elegant trap album that shows how far he’s come. I believe a project like this was much needed. It reminds us of the key moments in an up-and-coming rapper's career as they transition out of the street life into being a professional musician. 

Paco's music can motivate some to go and get theirs, while inspiring others to make legal money and get out of the trap lifestyle. I appreciate the underground music coming out in this day and age, but it's refreshing to hear music from the real hustlers out here.

“Came a long way from that dope hold, when that blender open nigga hold your breath, I’m a real boss, I dun past the tests, they just catching up to my last steps.” -

Chess Not Checkers feat Deemuney [Track 14]  

The project's limited features include interludes from comedian Chico Bean, and verses from Shyne, Deemuney and Str8drop Youngin

The production on this album is phenomenal too. Every song has you wondering what's coming next, but at the same time really catches you in the moment with smooth 90’s funk sounds and beautifully sampled melodies. The slew of producers on this project like Coltcaine and Jooviethaproducer need medals of their own for this album's flow. 

“I'm the Wheeler Road Bon Jovi..

  I'm Birdman Jr, no disrespect to Wayne..” -

 Supreme Clientele [Track 19]

You can tell what Paco's been through by the way he raps. He's at the cusp of blowing up, but the work isn't done yet. “I gotta see a M before he punch my time card,” he raps on "Time Will Tell."  Paco Panama has a constant hunger for getting things done. He’s got that old head wisdom vibration in his lyricism.  

On "Major," he details his need for a woman that can hold him down through his tribulations and put up with his turbulent lifestyle. Even though he seems to be off the blocks and corners now, he needs that womanly reassurance through thick and thin. In "Letter to Nanny," he pays homage to his grandma who was a prolific figure in his life. I don't think Paco has shown much of this side in his past work I’ve listened to. 

This song not on the album, but the video hard af ⏸

 I'm confident Southside Sopranos will boost Paco Panama's stock and get him the recognition he deserves, as one of the best artists out of DC at the moment. 

Go listen for yourself. 

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