Mixtape Review of Xtra – Jit, Courtesy of Luke McCormick
When thinking of Florida rap music one’s mind is surely drawn to Rick Ross or even some remembrance of Trick Daddy’s former brilliance. BUT, there’s one man who is still consistently putting out gut smashing and wrenching music. That man, is of course, Plies. For years Plies has been sliding in and out of the national rap spotlight but all along the way dropping heat and is now sprinkling some of that pure talent on another young Florida rapper, Xtra. The 24-year-old rapper inhabits a great deal of the aspects that make Plies a special rapper throughout Jit‘s 14 tracks. The dude can come incredibly hard, matching his mentor on some songs they share together (Plies shows up four times throughout the tape) with threat for threat or what they’ll effectively do to and/or for a “bitch”.
Xtra also has the bleeding heart and introspective side of Plies. There’s no “Family Straight” (Haven’t heard that? Go youtube it immediately after reading this) here but a number of interesting stabs at more heartfelt tracks, like the third person, assisted by the always welcome hooks of Ball Greezy on “It Ain’t Easy”. That track’s proceeded with a ‘for my dogs’ track “Holding Ya Down” about Xtra living each of his days in honor of his dudes who are no longer with him. “I want you to know nigga I’m still holding ya down. When I wake up I point up to the sky.”
Xtra even has what could be a bonafide hit of sorts with “Here On Out”. Whatever hit means these days. It should certainly get some burn on MTV Jams or what have you. The track clocks in at under four minutes. It has a simple, shouted out hook that immediately gets stuck in your melon over menacing synths and snaps. Xtra just isn’t putting up with any more guff. The world is his, you’re either with him or you’re not. If you’re not his “bitch” you’re a “thot”. It’s pretty easy and very replay worthy.
Another shared trait Xtra and Plies have are their acquired taste flows. Plies has his gravel mouth, two pack of Newports a day bark going while Xtra comes out with a Boosie-like nasal flow only less drawl. These aren’t hindrances but every once in a while during the tape it’s easy to get taken out of hearing what the dudes are spitting, get more into throwing some rap hands, then a few bars will perk those ears up. This happens with Xtra nearly out of the gate on “Kick Me Out Of School” as he documents teachers and adult figures failing him, or not accepting him then drops the line “You crackers smoke cigarettes and preach to me about what I’m supposed to do. Shit, you don’t know what I’m going through.” DAMN. Real talk award of the week goes to this man.
There’s not much out there about young Xtra. Most information can be gleaned from his mix tapes, which is a rarity in these days. The dude’s got a little mystery behind him and of course, the backing of the spectacular Plies. If he can build on Jit, with a couple more supremely solid outings it seems like the Sunshine State has something serious on its hands.
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