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  • Writer's pictureXlo

Hibachi III by Panama Jane

Panama Jane, Otaku It-girl? No. Goth Tsundere Trap rapper? No. Gangsta Boo and La Chat’s sinister love child with Alucard from Hellsing? No. Let's dig deeper. Straight from the frostbit mouth off the source.

Jane has her quirks, she unapologetically wears her bright and sarcastic personality even silently when she is completely obscured by a motorcycle helmet and spiked high heel boots and barely anything else. A woman of culture if you will. She and her team at Out da Trunk Studios have crafted an album some might call (it's me, I’m some) the best mashup of classic Southern Rap and raunchy modern pop culture fueled raps one can make.

“When you let a young Georgia raised Panamanian girl get her hands on a Three Six Mafia album, Akira VHS, and a bottle of Jack Daniels who knows what may fly out of her mouth! You brought this on yourself America! cover your children's ears! -sincerely senorita petty!

Deep in the depths of Wicked City they scheme, scam, sex and soliloquy to roaring 808’s and top-notch sample choices, this imaginary world created in the fabric of Jane’s entire body of work. But today we are here to talk about her latest release, the third and final? Hibachi; Hibachi III. 26 minutes of trunk rattling, new age 8-ball & MJG, Gangsta Boo, and UGK influenced pimping, hustling and shit-talk. Yes, the tall leather and spike-clad woman on the cover is giving it up like that, and it SOUNDS even crazier than it…sounds, to you, reading this.

Jane opens the album with a distorted voice recalling his time in school, he mentions a singular girl, weaving a tale of how she wanted to be a spice girl, and was into “anime and shit like that”. She dressed in all black and it was weird, but the moral of that story is an important one, one of the most important in American culture across the ages: “She had some big ass titties.” From there we take a ride with Jane into Wicked City, where the main event is an effortless free associative flow over 808s and flawless chops of Father’s Children’s, "Dirt and Grime." Up next is what some (its me again) may call the HARDEST song released this summer, "Pimps Don't Cry" is an unbeatable pitched up Cee-lo sample over her long-time collaborator Bad Klad, (formerly Skantily Klad…seeing a pattern here?) Holding absolutely nothing back on the drums, bass and percussion. Jane’s delivery and sense of humor carry her through a myriad of brag lines and shit-talk that would fit right in with the early 2000’s dirty south emergence into the mainstream.

If you see a P.I.M.P. then you probably seeing Jane If a nigga L.O.V.E. then i disappear, David Blaine I was born overseas so my mama she drove the boat and my daddy was a navy nigga i was born to float Coast to coast, like Toonami, take your space and then go ghost - Panama Jane, Pimps Don't Cry

90s kids, do you feel seen yet? No more sample snitching, "How Long" is the same formula but much more focused, telling a story of Jane breaking hearts and collecting checks in the game of love/lust/lies. How long has this been going on, is in fact a good question to ask by the time we arrive at the end of the second verse’s rather unfortunate reveal for the male suitor who is one of the subjects of the record .

"4giveme" is more flexing over another iconic sample and continued amazing production with all manner of vocal stabs and distorted adlibs, dark and chaotic are words that come to mind. Jane is proudly owning both her sexuality and outward sex appeal on this track while paying subtle homage to the forebearers of her sound. "Innie Minnie" brings in the first feature, Jacob Waddy over a bouncing synth as they take their pick of their options to recruit into their cartoonishly humorous but dark brand of Wicked City pimping. Waddy brings charisma and a welcomed energy shift to the track getting off lines that only work in his distinctive lispy southern drawl.

2,4,6,8 make yo bitch appreciate, I invest in ASSests in case that ass depreciate

Ghostface comes to mind for being the best example of a rapper who uses their voice and charisma to bring lines to life that anyone more serious or monotonous sounding just simply CAN’T. "SZA" goes back to the sample formula to Jane to relish in more hedonistic desires and bars about getting hers by any means. The hook complete with what sounds like some (hi again) would say is a comedic impression of auto-tuned talk-sing impression of singer SZA. but some could be completely wrong.

Moving on, "Telephone (remastered)" is a record filled with dirty talk and moaned adlibs befitting a fantastically absurd alternate world’s sex talk hotline, we are in Wicked City after all, this is world building. "Bitches Aint Us" a 2 minute banger just begging for a million Tik Toks and dance floors. She continues the Harlequin-esque whirlwind romance with sex, schemes and money making. The repetitive hook is simple, and straight-forward laid out perfectly for groups of young women in the club to yell with their drinks up. "Sha'Carri" is more of the same energy but full of metaphors about running track, an intentionally ironic metaphor for, you guessed it, pimping.

Hibachi III closes out with what might be the most impressive flows on the album as she brings this insane trip to a close with more of the “hard on hoes and their perpetually inept tricks” attitude she has carried from track 2, "Welcome 2 Wicked City." This album works off the strength of some of the last words on the album: “Jane is a one of one”. Though there may be limited subject matter on this album, the production choices, the charisma on display, the humor, the references and off the wall energy carry it from top to bottom. Artists like Jane, Doechii, and Rico Nasty through a combination of distinctive aesthetic choices, personality, and atypical production and flows make their projects stand out and offer originality in the growing realm of sex-positive rap projects from women.

Released July 15, 2022

words by Xlo

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