Salvador Santana, the son of legendary rock guitarist Carlos Santana, dabbles in Latin-tinged jam-band rock, funk and hip-hop on this five-song release from 2005. And while the effort showcases the talents of his band, as well as Salvador’s skills on the keyboard, it’s his own rhymes—combined with those of former SSB MC Sam Totah—that make this release fizzle.
Salvador and Totah’s cadences come across as painfully forced, and their lyrical content is too often trite and superficial, especially when they rap about love (“Simple Story of Love”) or personal struggles (“Another Rainy Day”). You wish they’d spit their rhymes with the occasional anecdote or metaphor, or something creatively crafted, but they don’t.
To be fair, the EP is two years old, and in that span of time Totah has moved on to another project and Salvador has likely honed or at least expanded his rapping skills (touring with B Side Players is a promising sign). Perhaps his live show and forthcoming album will demonstrate his progression as an MC and convert skeptics into fans. (Ira Sather-Olson)
Salvador Santana plays the Badlander with the B Side Players and Cipes & The Peoples, Monday, Sept. 10, at 9 PM. $10.