From South Stockton’s 8th Street, MBNel’s accounts of life can be grim. He achieved millions of streams through rapping about the Northern California city, his Filipino-American upbringing, and trying to make a way through music. However, the 25-year-old is challenging himself and his sound. Songs like 2021’s “Opulent,” “Shooting Stars,” and “Manifested” have been close to the heart while demonstrating depth and range that transcends rap music. Those three tracks have showcased Nel’s melodic delivery, honest songwriting, and ability to uplift audiences around the globe. The Muddy Boyz/EMPIRE artist is setting up for one of his most anticipated projects yet, coming this fall.
MBNel stands out because of his melodic ability, but bar for bar, he’s a lyrical demon on his latest offering “Ransom.” Nel’s lyrical genius flourishes as he’s had enough with the weak competition, “I ain’t nothing like these rappers in my city, stop comparing me / how he sent them shots and miss err’ one that shit embarrassing.”
“Ransom” is a street sermon about hardship and struggle; using lyrics too real to be 2nd hand experienced, and a melodic hook game that Nel perfected from years of slaps. Dvosk’s bass-heavy beat has all the makings of a Bay Area slap, from a bass that kicks to having a sweet spot of 90 BPM (A Bay Area signature since the G-Funk days). Pun intended, MBNel is holding the gold coast’s streets for ransom and is showing no signs of letting go.
Directed by SKIIIMOBB, Nel keeps the visuals simple and authentic to the Stockton streets he grew up in; watch as he and his crew twist their fingers and flex the spoils they struggled for.
Stay tuned for more new music from Nel, but for now, tap into “Ransom” below, which dropped via The Muddy Boyz/EMPIRE.