The emergence of Griselda Records and their artists (Westside Gunn, Conway and Benny) have placed a spotlight on Buffalo, something that the city, along with the rest of Western New York, have not seen in regards to their music scene. ElCamino is also one of those emerging Griselda artists. After coming off his strong self-titled solo debut, ‘Mino graced us with his second project entitled, Walking On Water. Following a similar grimy tone to its predecessor, Walking On Water is yet another example of why the Buffalo scene is currently on top of the hip hop mountain.
Walking On Water is an album of triumph. At the end of the day, Camino is using his music to separate himself from his drug selling past. The “walking on water” concept is employed as a reference to Jesus Christ performing miracles. Camino believes it is a “miracle” he made it out of the streets of Buffalo alive. On the title track, he shares this sentiment: “The shit that I witnessed, you wouldn’t believe…”
The album cover itself, as well as the “Outro”, also pushes the concept that Camino is performing a miracle. Of course, he’s not the first rapper to turn a bad situation into a good one. So what makes ElCamino’s music stand out among others?
Camino is very straight forward when it comes to his raps, and the simplicity and straightforwardness of Camino’s speak feels necessary for the raw content he is speaking on. His scratchy vocals and his “no b*llshit” demeanor are enticing.
The production on Walking On Water provides a beautiful canvas for Camino to paint and detail his tales of drug slanging and braggadocio. A handful of the tracks on here, including “Coke” and “Rayful Bag”, are produced by DJ Shay. Other producers that make appearances on here include Rick Hyde, Icerocks, and common collaborator, Boodeini, who produced the entirety of ElCamino’s solo debut.
The beats are grim and stripped down, and they complement Camino’s similarly grimy lyrics and mafioso content. It’s as if you’re kicking it with Camino himself in a dark alleyway and he’s telling you these stories face to face. It’s a perfect aesthetic for those who are fans of hardcore street rap.
There are plenty of bangers on here that will almost certainly catch the ears of those who are fans of likes of Mobb Deep, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon. The biggest standout banger on this project is “Rayful Bag”. The deep, cavernous piano used on the beat is menacing, as Camino pulls in his fellow Buffalo collaborator, Benny, for one of the most hard knocking thug anthems ever heard.
Walking On Water is yet another strong entry in the Buffalo, NY hip-hop scene, which continues to grow stronger every year.