“Pandemic” by Leo Ganza
Much like Rhianna’s, “We Found Love,” “Pandemic,” by Leo Ganza, tells the story of love realized, in the most unlikely of spaces. The difference of course, is that “Pandemic” is much more specified, and well, based on true events. Brooklyn based Rapper, Leo Ganza, is a seasoned and versatile talent, who tackles the most dominant topic of the last 14 months. He doesn’t stop there, and goes on to address the other major story of 2020 and early 2021, that was the only one to temporarily eclipse the first one. Hip Hop has a long history of not shying away from current events, and in many cases, effectively utilizing them to establish their presence in the industry.
In the case of Leo Ganza, this song does not in any way appear to be the work of a careerist. His honesty and intent is unlikely to be brought into question, as a result of his centered, yet, determined performance. He describes the song as simply being about how we realized the true power of love, during one of the most psychologically demoralizing periods in world history. Presumably, he felt it impossible, and in some ways dutiful, to not address the BLM movement that was sparked in the midst of said period. The result is one of the strongest singles of 2021, thus far.
After some piano work, vocal appropriations, and an excellent bass interlude, Ganza kicks off the track with the chorus. We fell in love/through a pandemic/I’m talkin real love/something organic/the type of love/make your heart panic/falling in love/through a pandemic. These lyrics are susceptible to the point of feeling naked. Ganza has already won, within the first thirty seconds of the track. He channels the somewhat nasally vocalization of a young Jay-Z , a fellow New Yorker, who in turn rose from being a street prophet into a galactic juggernaut, with similarly styled sentiments.
A track like, “Pandemic,” could easily feel like calculation in the hands of another. However, Leo Ganza is careful to ensure the focus remains on the residual, rather than the platform. It’s a trickier task than one might expect, but he constructs the narrative like an urban laureate. Leo Ganza is the type of artist that gains our trust and faith in his credibility, instantly, because he simply radiates sincerity. His energy and message is intangible, and the feeling arrives alongside your first exposure to his work.
To learn of a song with a title like, “Pandemic,” might be a hard sell to some. But trust me, this one is worth taking a chance on. It allows us to look back with at least a dose of the long awaited benefit of hindsight. If we didn’t learn anything from 2020, then our trajectory is severely and perhaps hopelessly compromised. But deep down, not only do we know we did, but we know this about one another, as well. Leo Ganza reminds us to take every opportunity to fall in love again and again, as we never know what a year can bring.