Mixtape Wrapup (April)
Busta Rhymes - Ive Already Outshined Your Favorite Rapper (DJ Superstar Jay) [click to listen]
This writer has consistently maintained that Busta Rhymes is one of the most criminally underrated emcees in the industry. Even though he doesnt make many Top 10 lists, the Brooklyn native has managed to put together a notably solid seven album solo catalog, an incredibly potent collection of cameos, and a time span of relevance that other veterans dream of. The title of his latest mixtape, Ive Outshined Your Favorite Rapper, is fitting, and over the course of about an hour, he proves it. Through original newbies and freestyles over beats already out there, Bus-A-Bus showcases his undeniable flow and personality with a mixture of braggadocio, game and wordplay.
Decon Records - Platinum Dreams
To accentuate their upcoming Fresh Rhymes and Videotape tour [click to read], Decon Records has compiled a mixtape with the featured artists, along with others the label has projects with. The highlights here are the previously unreleased joints from producer 88-Keys upcoming album, the Kanye West-executive produced The Death of AdamThe Burning Bush features Redman spitting about STD woes over a funkdafied sample and hook, and Keys Bout To Bus instrumental is nothing short of incredible. Everyone here plays their part, though: Aceyalone gives several solid offerings from his latest LP, and Alchemist and Evidence both drop crazy instrumentals. Wisely, each of the tracks on the mixtape are on albums Decon is pushing, so its clear who the winner is.
Sandman - Philadelphia Ego (Don Cannon) [click here to listen]
The Re-Up Gang [click to read] has already made its dent in the mixtape industry, as the Clipse-headed Philly collectives We Got It 4 Cheap series has been established as a consistent triple double of grittiness, lyrical tenacity and replay value. Sandman seems to be tampering with a proven formula, though, as his latest tape doesnt even have as much of a cameo from his more established brothers Thorton cohorts. But everyone needs to strike on their own at some point, and Philadelphia Ego is as good as a time as any: Sandman spits with the same ferocity that he does while rhyming as a group member, and hes strong enough lyrically and stylistically to hold down an entire tape on his own.
Rich Boy - Bigger Than The Mayor [click to listen]
Truth be told, I wasnt expecting a Rich Boy mixtape. I was too busy thinking he was throwing some Ds on that bitch. To my surprise, if you got your speaker game up, this bangs hard in the whip. The 1-2 combo of "Buried Alive" and "Wrist Out The Window" [click to listen] and left uppercut of "Chevy A Monster" is a way to start a tape off and the jabs just keep coming. "She Wanna" is a smooth track to ride out, windows down while the ears ring. The tape is nothing less than your usual dirty south lyrics and chopped and screwed hooks and some tracks definitely fall short, but maybe its the fact that we werent expecting this out of Rich Boy that makes this tape bang.
Stimuli March On Washington (DJ Victorious) [click to listen]
If youve never heard of Stimuli, let me just say you need to dig as far as you can and put yourself up on a dope lyricist. Oh Yeas screaming horns make this joint an anthem, but it throws you off as far as the mixtape goes. One thing Stimuli does on March On Washington is just spits so many quotables, I dont have enough space to name them all. From Heroes to My Life to Stop The Violence to flipping the Jimi Hendrix sample on Pledge Of Alligiance where he explains why even though we all curse this country and the president, we have it so much better than so many other countries. The N Word is classic Hip Hop. Coulda Been Me and Back Of The Bus are life lessons. Immortal Technique even made a cameo on the tape. To round out the tape at a short 13 tracks is a testament of the quality of music on here. People need to realize its better to have a short, bangin' tape with no filler, than an alright mixtape with track skippers. Artists need to pay attention. Stimuli drops jewels and the grind is seen considering this is mixtape #3 out of a 12 part series. If youre real Hip Hop head, you need to somehow get your hands on this.
Tony Yayo - P.O.W. Radio 10: Drug Users Manual (DJ Whoo Kid) [click to listen]
G-Unit still keep grinding with these tapes? DJ Whoo Kid has been a monthly fixture of Mixtape Wrapup's at HipHopDX in 2008. ThisIs50.com has invaded every desktop and Firefox bookmark on the planet and this tape is no different than any other jump-off Whoo Kid and G-Unit has done. The one thing that separates this from other projects though, its that it actually rides out like a mixtape. Yeah, you have 50 Cent singing hooks, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks trading bars and Young Buck holding down the dirty (before getting kicked out), but the fact that they feature other people on there is what makes this tape that much stronger. Bishop Lamont on Smoking King Kong and Cashis I Got That Product ride out minus the Unit. Even CNN and Jim Jones got a slot. I'm not sure what "Lollipop" is doing on here, but those Lloyd Banks tracks definitely make up for it. No one will deny that 50 knows what hes doing, and this tape is no different.
Termanology Da Cameo King [click to listen]
A returning artist from last month [click here to read], Termanology is getting it in. He's definitely made his rounds this year in the mixtape circuit especially when hes featured on so many tracks, and thats exactly what this project is aiming towards. The Music Industry [click to listen] with Royce Da 59", Consequence, Crooked I and Akrobatik is a verbal manslaughter from all angles. I wasnt mad at that Papoose feature on the legendary Watch How It Goes Down (Remix) with M.O.P. either. J.Cardim comes in and laces Different World while Term just spits the truth of how things could have been different. The Corner with Doo Wop, DJ Rerok, Ras Kass, and DV Alias Kryst is another standout that you cant help but to rewind a couple times. Throw a couple of Statik Selektah tracks off his album, and some standouts from the St. Da Squad mixtape and Termanology has a well rounded tape here. You can't go wrong with that.
Fashawn The Phenom
The west coast is brewing up some talent on the underground scene. Soon enough, well see the west coast have another uprising. Fashawn is one of the handful of artists trying to make their way to the top. The Phenom partly contributes to that classic west coast sound, but it also brings something fresh to the table, just like everyone else up and coming from the west. The Phenom 2.5 started fresh, but the real bangers dont start until later in the tape. If you listened to the tape for only one track, it would have to be Missing You. If you pay attention close enough, you might be able to get the meaning behind the track. Life Of An Entertainer is another standout. Features were lackluster, besides the Planet Asia one, and Fashawn undoubtedly spazzes on 100 Bars. Solid tape all around.