Mitchy Slick has his moments on "Call of Duty: South East Edition," but featured artists who lack his lyrical ability hold back what is already a brief project.
Mitchy Slick is who a lot of your favorite rappers would like you to believe they are. The list of emcees that can claim the respect Mitchy Slick has earned in the streets is extremely small; even smaller is the list of those with that respect who can actually rhyme. While remaining the top representative for the often over looked Southern Californian city of San Diego, his collaborations with Los Angeles emcees Krondon and Phil the Agony (as Strong Arm Steady), and Bay Area emcee Messy Marv (Messy Slick) have his name ringing up and down California. With Call of Duty: South East Edition, Mitchy takes listeners back to his neighborhood of Southeast San Diego, while also drawing attention to his label, Wrongkind Records. While Mitchy himself has his moments, features by others who lack Mitchy’s ability with a microphone hold back a project that with eight tracks doesn’t have much room for error.
Call of Duty: South East Edition opens with “Klack Black.” Over a generic Futuristiks production, an up-tempo flowing Mitchy paints a picture of gang life in his neighborhood of Southeast San Diego. While “Klack Back” itself is a story you may have heard already; obligations to retaliate, drama with rivals and police, in combination with several of the other tracks on the project, Mitchy paints a more complex picture of the street lifestyle than the superhero gangster most rappers portray. “Get Away” finds Mitchy rapping about the consequences of being the hood superstar still tied to his neighborhood. Whether it be the belief of others he’s now obligated to take care of them due to his success (“That’s a fucked up reality / We divided by salaries / And the niggas that got it, gotta stay movin’ or become a casualty…Niggas want you to pay them like you one of their snows / Want you to send them a little dough before you get your daughter school clothes”) or the fact now recognizable, any drama and he’s bound to have his name come up. While pop star rappers complain about their status and it attracting paparazzi, Mitchy’s celebrity status causes problems that seem a bit more serious. While Mitchy can, and does tell the stories other “gangster” rappers rap about (and he often does it better), it’s songs like “Get Away” that separate him from the others, Call of Duty: South East Edition is merely a sample of what Mitchy has been doing his whole career.
Unfortunately, COD: South East Edition finds Mitchy often playing in co-op mode, and a lot of the featured artists haven’t leveled up to his stature. Next to Mitchy, a lot of his cohorts lack of microphone presence is clear. Offbeat flows and overall filler raps from feature rappers drag down songs like “Fucked in the Game” and “Power.” While the horns give “Fucked in the Game” a grand feel, offbeat flows from featured artist make it feel otherwise.
While Mitchy’s kill to death ratio on Call of Duty: South East Edition isn’t flawless (“She’s a Rider” is awfully cliché, the unnecessary vocoder based hook on “AllStar” holds back what is otherwise a decent track), the eight-track project gives you a sample of what Mitchy is capable of. Unfortunately, the features from artists who appear to still be rough around the edges hold the project back. Eight tracks leaves little room for error, and while this project is still likely to satisfy Mitch’s core fanbase and you can’t argue with the price, it doesn’t stand up to standard set by his full-length projects.