3. Trae Tha Truth, Tha Blackprint – The Texas rap/hip-hop lifestyle infatuates me. I love hearing rappers with a down South drawl rap about candy painted cars, fast women, hard drugs, and sippin’ “lean.” I remember a few years back when any rapper out of Texas was all over the radio and people’s favorite music magazines. The Texas rap scene may be a little moderate today in terms of popularity, but dudes like Trae Tha Truth keep Texas thriving. His last mixtape was a full dose of Texas smooth talk and cameos from the state’s best. Trae’s vocal delivery is easy to recognize, plus he uses that voice to perfection over hard/soft production. “B***h I’m From Texas” should be the new anthem for Trae’s hometown. As a matter of fact, this whole mixtape should be played before, during, and after every Texas home game.
Mixtape Standout – Rollin
2. Amerigo Gazaway of Gummy Soul, Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to the Pharcyde – After listening to this glorious musical mashup a million times, I would always ask myself “What took so long to do this?” A Tribe Called Quest’s legendary beats mixed together with The Pharcyde’s wildest lyrics makes so much sense. Each track on this project warmed my mid-90’s rap/hip-hop heart. Every time I played this joint for a fellow old school head, they couldn’t help but nod their heads to each song. They also couldn’t help but laugh at the crazy antics of The Pharcyde and their cruel mama jokes. Major brownie points should go to Amerigo Gazaway and Gummy Soul. Their collaborative efforts helped manifest a welcome return to the good ol’ days of rap.
Mixtape Standout – Ya Mama and Stuff
1. Action Bronson, Rare Chandeliers – I like my beats gritty. I like my rappers to be a little rough around the edges. I feel comfortable listening to a song full of expletives. And I truly enjoy album/mixtape covers that reek of artistic originality. Action Bronson’s latest mixtape featured all of my favorite things. New York rap/hip-hop is thriving once again. One of the main rappers keeping the city’s rap spirit alive is big Action Bronson. The man is a master chef, so you know he has the ability to put the best finishing touches on everything he does. The Alchemist’s gutter sound did all types of favors for Bronson’s super deep tone. There are no boom bap beats to speak of on this mixtape. Bronson doesn’t need any solid snares anyway. This tape proves he’s a beast in the kitchen and in the booth. A’yo! Keep your Eggs on the Third Floor, B.
Mixtape Standout – The Symbol