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Mixtape Review: Que – Can You Digg It?

September 12th, 2014 No comments

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Mixtape Review of Que – Can You Digg It? Courtesy of Luke McCormick

Que is out here trying to not become another one hit wonder statistic. The 24-year-old Atlanta rapper had a certified smash on his hands last year with “OG Bobby Johnson”. The internets, radio, even  celebrities couldn’t get the damn hook out of their heads. Lebron James even said it was his pre-game turn up jam.

 

Not one to be beholden by a singular hit single, Que signed to Atlantic (by freshly minted A&R dude DJ Drama) and pushed out an EP in March of this year. He’s back already with Can You Digg It? It’s a quick shot of a mixtape at only 14 tracks and has a star studded guest roll. He’s got dudes like Trey Songz and 2 Chainz stopping by and gets laced with a DJ Mustard beat. Some heavy hitting shit for a free mixtape. Should make for a compelling listen. Not exactly. The tape is like a tale of two Ques.

 

The first of half of Can You Digg It? is full of a very confident Que. He’s rapping his ass off and is dead set on letting you know he’s damn good at this rap shit, but it’s really just a hobby to him. “I’m not a rapper I just took a break from ballin'” he spits in his competitor’s faces on the “Intro” in his raspy, choppy drawl of a flow. The tape’s first few tracks also show off Que’s knack for crafting simple, repetitive, can’t deny hooks. The three song suite of “Uno Dos Tres”, “All Y’all” and the 2 Chainz assisted “Rich Problems” orbit the same hook heaven of “OG Bobby Johnson”.

 

“Rich Problems” could for sure be a problem, this thing is bonafide heater. It’s got a DJ Mustard plink plonk piano beat the kids love and 2 Chainz sliding in to rap about his crib being big as a Wal Mart. He also mentions calling Target “Tarjay”, so the dude has cornered the big ass department store rhymes market.

 

So that first half of the tape is a butt load of fun with Que getting his rappity rap on and belting out some infectious hooks, then he just decides to ditch that functioning formula for the second half. Now we get Que the crooner. The auto tune gets turned up and Que really, really wants to be Future.

 

Que starts stretching those vocals on “Keep It Real” which is actually very pleasant. His voice hasn’t been auto tuned out yet and the dude can seriously sing. The Jazz Feezy beat is a spacey, low bpm affair Future would have murked three years ago. Here it just sounds old hat. August Alsina hops on “Diamonds” which Que also sings on. Que could have adopted that first half of the tape raspy flow and made a nice contrast to Alsina’s croon, but this one just floats by unnoticed.

 

To go along with the second half of this tape poor decision making HUGE guests get shoved at the end of this thing. Que has the aforementioned Alsina, Ty Dolla $ign, and freaking Trey Songz on separate tracks here. These dudes are hitmakers. Space them out throughout the tape so people aren’t just skipping down to the bottom to hear what will assumedly be a banger.

 

Que definitely has some skills and can be an engaging artist when he’s relying on his strengths. To eclipse just being “that guy who made “OG Bobby Johnson”” he needs to decide what kind of rapper he wants to be. He can’t straddle that line between crooning and spitting like a Future. For new successes the man should keep churning out those mad fun hooks and focus on rapping his raspy ass off.

 

Download and Listen Live at LiveMixtapes.com

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Mixtape Review: 2 Chainz – Freebase

May 9th, 2014 No comments

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Mixtape Review: 2 Chainz – Freebase, Courtesy of Skinny Friedman
In a genre where every the art is rarely the driving factor for aesthetic choices, rap EP’s are kept short for a reason. And each reason is unique. Sometimes labels want to cash in on a hot single they did not expect. Sometimes they want to cash in on a hot single from an artist that clearly doesn’t have a whole album in them. Sometimes artists are feeling themselves to the point where they don’t think they gotta finish 12 songs. Shit, sometimes they’re right.

So what drives 2 Chainz and the powerful forces that direct his career to drop Freebase, a free six song EP? Who knows. The answer is probably some convoluted mix of clearance problems, label conflicts over guests and promo arrangements between various industry power brokers. Maybe B.O.A.T.S. II didn’t hit the intended sales targets. Maybe Tauheed was just bored and 2 Broke Girls wasn’t taping. Regardless of the motives, Freebase is a Read more…

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Mixtape Review: Frenchie – Long Over Due 2

April 26th, 2014 No comments

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Mixtape Review: Frenchie Long Over Due 2 – Courtesy of Kasai Rex

After a tumultuous 2013, fueled largely by unfortunate, drug-addled social media pop-offs by Gucci Mane (or a hacker, who knows for sure), it may be harder to keep up with the Brick Squad roster and its dealings than it is tracking all the character arcs on any given HBO drama. But with “Long Over Due 2,” Frenchie launches a shot across the bow of ATL rap, driving the point home with a mission of reppin’ the team that brought him to the fore while also making a name for himself in the next chapter of his consistent stint in the game.

Guest spots from Shy Glizzy, Chaz Gotti and Young Scooter gas up Frenchie’s eagerness and earnestness, which come through crystal clear on tracks that fall within the parameters of the “real trap shit” promised by Trap-A-Holics without sounding played out.

Throughout the album’s 18 tracks, the Brick Squadder brings us more than the money-clothes-and-hoes-all-a-nigga-knows gruel we’re all accustomed to by now. Laments of the real-deal trauma of growing up a fatherless black child in America and curt concessions that crime can be the best source of income in a land of inopportunity that’s a shell of its former self hit hard, if uncomfortably, on tracks like “Send Me An Angel.”

“Flexin’ on you niggas like I got a job,” he boasts on “Tommy,” what with being allergic to the 9-to-5 grind by his own admission. For the BX-to-ATL transplant, born to a clan that was squadded up in the industry, it was either wage slavery or the corner if rap didn’t take off.
Production from Zaytoven, Drumma Boy and others lays down a signature ATL foundation, with 808 mafia’s Tales From The Dark Side trip on “Keep It Gangsta” lending itself perfectly to the album’s best guest spot, by Sony. When Base Beatz kills the thunderzone bass and flicks on the auto-pan on “Frozen Water,” Frenchie flows calmly, on the gutter griot tip like an MC meant for more than guest spots for ATL’s rap royals.

“Long Time” sneaks up on you like latent heartache, with Frenchie making the forlorn thug lover schtick work. This track and a handful of others feature “Rapper Ternt Sanga” moments that thankfully complement rather than dilute “Long Over Due 2’s” general vibe.

The I’ll-take-you-there attitude of “No Sleep” (“Where you can see your grandfather OD, you know a better place? Nigga show me.”) lifts up the rug and reveals once again the insular, all-too-frequent hopelessness of America’s ever-growing Poverty Zone.

“Long Over Due 2″ offers up pain as the touchstone for growth, in the rap game and beyond, for Frenchie, whose confidence comes across even in the album’s darker turns. Only time will tell if this soldier of the mighty Brick Squad Monopoly can rise above the family name and strike out on his own.

Download and Listen Live at LiveMixtapes.com

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Mixtape Review: Young Thug & Bloody Jay – Black Portland

February 7th, 2014 No comments

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Mixtape Review: Young Thug & Bloody Jay – Black Portland, Courtesy of Lawrence Burney

 At the end of 2013, it seemed inconceivable that someone not named Migos would be the hottest story out of Atlanta but Young Thug just snatched the title. From “Stoner” to “Loaded” to one of the biggest street hits out right now in “Danny Glover”, he’s been building a resume that shows consistency with making bangers. And as if his loopy delivery wasn’t good enough on its own, Black Portland is a tape he’s put together with another unique rapper from Atlanta, Bloody J.

Black Portland shows how diverse trap music is. Both Bloody Jay and Young Thug, while not veering off path with content, offer some of the sub-genre’s wackiest delivery. Thug’s gained most of his popularity from his wild, tribal-chant yodel rapping but on this tape he has more monotone efforts (no less whacky). Bloody Jay goes from high level Read more…

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Mixtape Review: Cap1 – Caviar Dreams

February 4th, 2014 No comments

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Mixtape Review: Cap1 – Caviar Dreams Courtesy of Brandon Soderberg

Cap1 is a Chicago rapper transplanted to Atlanta, and his latest, Caviar Dreams, precariously balances the considerable influence of ground zero for Southern street rap since the early 2000s, and the spare modernity of the Midwestern city that seems to be tossing out new exciting talent every few weeks. But Cap1 isn’t exactly a “new” talent. He’s been around for more than a decade: Signed to Motown in 2000, associated with Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace in the mid-2000s (as a teaser for Caviar Dreams he released a trailer featuring footage of Kanye West from 1998, which gives you a sense of how long he’s been in the game).

However, it does seem like it is finally his moment to stand out. Thanks to Internet mixtape distribution, movements like the Coke Boys and G.B.E., and pointed cosigns from superstars (Lil Bibby getting praise from Drake; Kanye grooving on VINE to Young Thug), Cap1’s mix of Read more…
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Hit-Boy – HITstory… Evidence of Major Label Laziness

September 10th, 2012 No comments

Let’s talk about the machinery and why I’m mad that Hit-Boy has a mixtape out.

Straight up, I only listened to one song on the tape (the one with Bun B and the perennially underrated King Chip pka Chip the Ripper).  Hit-Boy is a good enough rapper, I guess, and I’m not about to tell anyone they aren’t allowed to bless the mic if the spirit moves them and they’re in the studio anyways.  But straight up I’ve only heard of Hit-Boy because of “Paris” – why would I want to hear him rap?  As the late great Mitch Hedberg said, do you really trust the farmer to cook your food just because he grew it?

(It’s ironic Hit-Boy is on G.O.O.D. Music, given Kanye’s own troubles crossing over from an in-demand producer to a (relatively) respected emcee, which he spelled out in great detail at the end of “Last Call.”  Maybe Yeezy is still mad about how much industry drama he had to go through to get his chance on the mic and he’s trying to pay it forward.)

But look, I’m not mad at Hit-Boy and I don’t really feel a way about his tape existing.  I’m mad about the industry that Read more…

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Mixtape: Cali Swag District – Deeper Than The Dougie

June 6th, 2011 No comments

Cali Swag District, creators of “The Dougie” are back with a mixtape called “Deeper Than The Dougie” which unfortunately doesn’t reach a level of depth any deeper than the dougie IMHO.

Tracklist and download link after the jump. Read more…

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Mixtape: Tha Joker – Numbers Dont Lie

April 20th, 2011 No comments

Tha Joker’s “Number’s Dont Lie” dropped at 4pm EST at LiveMixtapes.com, and so far its a pretty dope tape… Listen for yourself.


Download Mixtape Free | LiveMixtapes.com Mixtape Player

See also his music video for “BLow it All”

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Pac Div – Mania! (Mixtape/No DJ)

April 5th, 2011 No comments

I am very intrigued by this cover, so I am happy to post the links that NR threw out.

Download: Pac Div – Mania! (No DJ) | Alternate

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Camp Lo & Pete Rock – 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s (Mixtape)

March 29th, 2011 No comments

Trackstar the DJ and Mark Divita got with Camp Lo and Pete Rock to put together a mixtape to hype us all for the upcoming full length collaboration. The mixtape “80 Blocks from Tiffany’s” features some of the Camp’s classic as well as a few of the new joints mixed in. Thanks to TSS for this one! I love me some Camp Lo.

Camp Lo/Pete Rock-80 Blocks from Tiffany’s mixtape by djtrackstar

Download: Nukeshare | Hulkshare | Mediafire

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